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On Drawing 
Trees and Nature 

A Classic Victorian Manual with 

Lessons and Examples 

J. D. HARDING 



DOVER PUBLICATIONS, INC. 

Mineola, New York 



PREFACE 



The sale of two large Editions of this Work, and its favourable reception, not only by 
the Public-, but by the Profession, — from many distinguished Members of which the Author 
has received the most gratifying testimony of its usefulness, — afford not only a strong 
assurance of the truth of the Principles propounded, but also evince a decided approval of 
the method by which they are explained and practically illustrated. The Author, thus 
encouraged, has, in preparing a Third Edition of the Work, spared no paina to render it 
still more deserving of Public favour. 

Among the improvements which have been made in the present Edition, the following 
may be enumerated as the most considerable* — The instructions, which, in the two former 
Editions were confined to the Use of the Lead Pencil, have in the present been rendered 
equally applicable to the Use of the Chalk. This extension seemed to be required in 
consequence of the more extended employment of the Chalk, as an Instrument of Art, 
since the appearance of the first Edition. Of late, indeed, since the manufacture of Tinted 
Paper has been so much improved, and its use, consequently, increased, the Chalk has 
almost entirely superseded the Lead Pencil for drawing on such paper. The whole work 
has been carefully revised ; the Instructions have been, as much as possible, simplified, in 
order that they may be the more readily understood; and that the Student may be spared 
the trouble of so frequently turning to the Plates, Cuts have been introduced into the 
text in proximity to the passages to which they relate. With respect to the Plates, all 
the subjects are new except one; and every one, from the most simple to the most 
complicated, will be found to illustrate either directly or indirectly some important 
Principle in the practice of Art. In the execution of the Plates, the Author has availed 
himself of the most recent improvements in Lithography. Those on tinted paper — with 
the effect of Drawings touched with white — are in the same style as the Author's " Sketches 
at Home and Abroad," which appeared in 1837, and were among the first Examples of 
Lithographic Drawings executed in this manner in England. 

To elucidate and inculcate the Elementary Principles of Art, founded on an observation 
of Nature, and to show how they can be most efficiently applied by such an instrument 
as the Chalk or Lead Pencil, has been the Author's aim in every portion of the Work. 
He recommends no maxims from his own individual practice; for though nearly all the 
Examples! are drawn by himself, it is not on that account that the Student's attention is 
directed to them, but because they exemplify Principles, the truth of which may at all times 
be tested by a reference to Nature. He has endeavoured to show the Student the advantage 
of adhering to such Principles in every step of his progress; for those only can be said 
to study Art advantageously who, looking continually to Nature, apply the means and 
materials of Art, at their command, in conformity with her dictates. It has therefore 



PREFACE 



been his desire to place before those who wish to study the art of Design, such simple 
rules for their guidance as will enable them, in the first place, to learn how to look at 
Nature, and then how to represent her by Art. 

Some works on Design, though very ably written, are not sufficiently elementary or 
practical for beginners ; while others present little more than a copious catalogue of 
materials, as if the method of rightly using them was so plain as to require no explanation. 
In others, again, the Authors seem to consider that exellence in Art is chiefly shown by 
a disregard of Nature ; and the works of the greatest Artists are referred to in confirma- 
tion of the absurd proposition, — as if their chief merit consisted in their very faults and 
mannerisms ; while, in truth, such Artists are only to be considered greati from their general 
adherence to Nature, and in spite of the defects resulting from a peculiar mode of practice. 
In this way, dogmas deduced, or, rather, extorted, from the capricious practice of parti- 
cular Artists, are set forth as infallible rules for the Student's guidance, instead of 
philosophical principles, founded on the unchanging Laws of Nature. 

It appeared to the Author, that the disadvantages above alluded to might be remedied 
by providing the Student with a Work, such as is here offered to him, explaining the 
Principles of Elementary Art by a reference to Nature, and showing, by Examples, 
how they are to be carried into Practice. He trusts that the Work will be of service, 
not only to those who intend to devote themselves to Art as a profession, but also to 
those who may be desirous of acquiring a practical knowledge of it, either as an elegant 
accomplishment, or as a useful aid in other pursuits. 

With the view to promote this, and in order to furnish the Student with assistance to 
which he may continually refer, as well as to make his work more decidedly useful, the Author 
has increased the number of Plates, and the Pages of Illustration, much beyond what he 
originally thought would have been necessary. The course he has followed has been 
suggested to him by his experience in actual instruction ; and he has endeavoured to show 
how, by so simple an instrument as The Ciialk or Lead Pencil, such a knowledge 
of Art may be acquired, as may lead to eventual success. 

The chief object of this Work is, to explain the Principles of Elementary Art, and to 
teach the Student how to apply them by means of the Chalk or Lead Pencil. When he 
has sufficiently mastered what is here placed before him, he may then proceed to the study 
of Composition, Colour, and General Effect- These he will find explained and illustrated 
in " The Principles and Practice of Art," a work which the Author annoimccd in the Pre- 
face to the second Edition of the <f Elementary Art," and which he has recently published* 

To his friends, E. Landseer, R. A., and W. P- Frith, A.RA., the Author is 
indebted for the subjects in Plates 2, 3, and 4. In reference to the other Plates, it is 
only necessary for him to add, that they are from his own Sketches, the subjects of which 
have all been taken from Nature. 

4, Gordon Square, 
University College, London, 



CONTENTS. 



INTRODUCTION, 

Elementary Practice to be accompanied by the explanation of first principles, I. — The faculty of observation 
and comparison to be exercised, 2,— How Nature may be best interpreted by Art, 3.— Importance of 
commencing the Study of Art on right principles, 4,— The usefulness of Art, 5. — Erroneous views 
of many persons on the subject, 0. — Causes of the want of success in the pursuit of Art, 7. — 11 Bold " 
anrl "Soft' 1 Styles, 9. — Importance of practising with the Chalk or Pencil, 9. — Progressive Course 
of Study, 11. 

CHAPTEE I. 

GENERAL REMARKS ON THE USE OF TIIE CHALK, OR LEAD PENCIL. 

The evidence of the mechanical process by which a likeness to Nature is obtained, ought to be as much as 
possible concealed, 1 3. — Of Lines, their utility and defects, 14. — Of the application of Lines to indicate 
character or quality, 15. — Excellence in Art not a gift but an attainment, 16. 

CHAPTER IL 

ON FORM. 

Importance of correct drawing, 17, — Applicability of the Chalk, or Pencil, to the delineation of Forms, 17. — 
Perfection of Form in each class of objects, 18. — Onr judgment on the productions of An influenced 
by our feelings, as well as by our knowledge, 19. — Of Selection, 19, — To clothe objects properly, a 
knowledge of their Forms requisite, 20. —Of the different Forms presented by objects, according to 
their position and the direction in which they are viewed, 21. — Disadvantage of commencing too early 
with Colours, 23. 

CHAPTER III. 

ON THE APPLICATION OF THE CHALK, OR PENCIL, TO THE DRAWING OF FORMS, 

The effects of the hesitation felt by beginners, 25. — How confidence and precision are to be attained, 25. — 
Defects of a hard Outline, 25. — Mode of holding the Pencil, 27. — Of determining the inclination and 
position of Lines, 27 — Of drawing Curvilinear Figures f 28.— The different effects of Outlines of a 
different kind, 80. — Where Character should be chiefly displayed, 31, — Of the amount of Imitation 
required, 81. 

CHAPTER IV. 

ON COPYING, AS PREPARATORY TO THE STUDY OF NATURE. 

Of the right intention of Copying, 33. — Drawing from Memory, 34. — Difficulties at first attendant on the 
attempt to draw from Nature, 35. — The habit of merely Copying, without regard to principles, an 
impediment to progress in Art, 3B.— Mode of determining the relative situation of objects, 38. 

CHAPTER V. 

ON FOLIAGE. 

The importance of Foliage in Landscape, and the apparent difficulty of its truthful imitation, 40.— The 
Artist not required to distinguish the leaves of trees with the precision of a Botanist, 41 — 11 Slight" 
and " Highly-finished 11 Drawings, 42 — The idea of Form conveyed not by the dark outline alone, 
but as it is viewed in connection with the space which it encloses, 42. — Shade suggestive of the 
rotundity of objects, and of the presence of Light, 43.— Property of Shade, 43.— The attention 



CONTENTS 



attracted by the illuminated, parts of objects, 44. — Nature puts on the light f the Artist, using the 
Chalk, or Pencil, puts on the sfuide, and leaves the light, 44. — General properties of Shade to be 
observed in depicting Foliage, 45. — Common errors in depicting Foliage pointed out, 46. — Of the 
Outlines, 46. — Relation between the form of the Leaf and the form of the Masses or Folds of Leaves, 
47. — Arrangement of the Groups of Leaves, 48* — Flexibility and Rotundity, 49. — Requisites in the 
outline of Foliage, 51 t 52, — Their exemplification, 64 — 57, 

CHAPTER VI. 

ON STEMS AND BRANCHES. 

General properties of Stems and Branches, 58* — Mode of properly attaching the Branches to the 
Stem, 59.— Bark, 60.— Rotundity, 61.— Direction of Light, 62.— Mode of growth in Branches, 63.— 
Difficulty of tracing the Branches, 64. — Semi«trausparency of Foliage and Opacity of Stems and 
Branches, 65. — Diligent practice, guided by knowledge, required to insure success, 65. — Forms of 
the Stems, Leading Branches, and Folds, 67. — Uselessness of copying the forms of Foliage minutely, 
68. — Errors pointed out, 69. — Mode of study to be observed, 69. — Properties of the Beech, 70. — 
Importance of first acquiring the power to draw some one tree well, 72. 

CHAPTER VII. 

ON FOREGROUNDS. 

Grass and Herbage, 74. — Evenness and unevenness of Ground, 75. — Mode of representing the blades 
and masses of Grass, 75. — Spaces between the masses, 75. — Manner of forming Leaves, 75. — Effect 
of various kinds of plants in Landscape, 76. — Similar lines expressive of different qualities, accordingly 
as they are employed, 76. — Knowledge of the separate parts requisite, 77. 

CHAPTER VIII. 

ON LIGHT AND SHADE. 

Solidity indicated by Light and Shade, 79. — Character of Surface as seen through Shade, 80. — Difficulty 
of detecting the precise outline of objects, 81. — Forms rendered more distinct by contrast, 81. — Ideas 
of roundness and solidity suggested by Light and Shade, 82. — Natural Shade and Accidental 
Shadow, 82. — Mode of representing Shades and Shadows, 84. 

CHAPTER IX. 

ON THE USE OF THE BRUSH. 

Different effects of the Chalk, or Pencil, and the Brush, 86. — Comparative advantages and disadvantages 
of each, 86 — 88. — Mode of attaching the several masses of foliage to each other, 89.- — Shade and 
Local Colour to be kept distinct, 89. — Best mode of operation, 89, — Washes of Colour for Skies and 
Distances to be carried over the places of darker intervening objects, 91. — Advantages of a knowledge 
of the true principles of Art, 9 1 . 

APPENDIX. 

ON THE MATERIALS. 

Paper, smooth and rough, 93. — Chalk and Pencils, 94, — Coloured Paper, 95, — Use of the Stump, 96. — 
Mode of obliterating Chalk or Pencil Marks, 96. — Of fixing Drawings on the Paper, 07. — Of the 
facilities for Study and Practice afforded by Lithographic Drawings, 97. 

SUPPLEMENTARY PLATES. 

99, 



ELEMENTARY ART 



INTRODUCTION. 

IN the following pages are embodied the results of the Author's experience 
in imparting a knowledge of Elementary Art, accompanied by graphic 
examples, such as he has found to be best suited to impress its principles 
effectually on the mind. Having proved the usefulness of the precepts and the 
examples in communicating, with facility, both practical and theoretical knowledge, 
he has been induced to lay them before the Public. The wish, on his own part, 
to extend assistance, has been seconded by the entreaties of many, who have 
desired to be directed aright in their views of Art, and in their efforts to acquire 
skill in its practice, whether as an auxiliary to other pursuits, or for the purpose 
of cultivating it as a profession. 

The invaluable Art of Lithography, by affording the greatest facilities for 
the publication of Books of Lessons, and Studies of all kinds, and for placing 
in the hands of the Public, at a very moderate cost, Original Drawings by accom- 
plished Artists, has contributed not only to the more general dissemination of the 
productions of Pictorial Art, but also to increase the desire to become acquainted 
with its principles and practice. Such examples, however, are of comparatively 
small value as subjects of imitation merely, unless at the same time the Student 
receive instruction in the principles of Art, as well as in the manipulation of 
the materials. 

To render such examples really profitable to the young in Art, for whom 
they are intended, some explanation of its first principles is necessary, in order 
that they may know what they are about; for without this knowledge they will 
never advance in Art beyond the rank of mere copyists of other people's works : 
however acute their sight may be, or ready their hand at fac-simile imitation, they 



2 



INTRODUCTION. 



will never be able, of themselves, to select and truthfully depict the beauties 
of Nature, After having copied any of those examples, they require 
something more than to be told that what they have done is either too large or 
too small, too wide or too narrow, too light or too dark, — all such mistakes 
might be self-evident, requiring no master to point them out ; such information 
acquaints the pupil with what he probably very well knew, but affords him no 
real instruction in the principles of Art. 

Some explanation is required of the various methods employed to charac- 
terise the various objects : whether certain modes of depicting their forms and 
qualities be in accordance with the principles of Nature as applied to the practice 
of Art ; and whether an attractive result may have been a fortunate accident, or 
may have been intentionally worked out by the Artist. Something is required 
which shall exercise and cultivate the faculties of observation, comparison, and 
reflection, so that whilst the mind is thus acquiring more distinct ideas of forms 
and their relations, it may be prepared to perceive and appreciate the higher 
beauties with which Nature has surrounded us on all sides, and at the same 
time be rendered capable of more readily acquiring distinct ideas on other 
subjects, 

It is not to those only who intend to study Art as a profession that I desire 
to address myself, but to those also who take it up as a pleasurable pursuit. 
There are many who regard it as of easy attainment ; and if they discover in 
themselves an aptitude for imitation, at once decide on becoming either pro- 
fessional artists, or amateurs, concluding, though most erroneously, that they 
are in possession of an intuitive talent which will enable them to attain in u Six 
Easy Lessons," a thorough mastery over Art. Others, highly susceptible of 
its beauties, but unable to trace, in the works of the painter, effects to their 
causes, believe it to be a mystery, and that its charms are attributable to the 
power of innate genius, without which every attempt must be futile. 

The chief object which the Author has ever kept in view in this undertaking 
is to remove those erroneous and too generally prevalent notions, and to cultivate 
a just taste for a useful and intellectual pursuit. The difficulties which present 
themselves at the commencement, are such as are common to every other 
important pursuit ; and are surmounted in proportion as a knowledge of correct 
principles is attained, and as intelligence becomes operative in guiding the hand. 



INTRODUCTION 



Excellence is to be obtained, not in the practice of the style, or more correctly 
speaking, the manner of any model, but from a knowledge of the principles of 
Art and the truths of Nature, which alone should suggest the adoption of 
every style or manner. Unless the study of Art be based on such truths, its 
practice can only end in disappointment. 

Art is the graphic interpretation of Nature ; and every painter either 
expresses his ideas of her in his own idiomatic pictorial language; or, guided 
by his knowledge, and his own peculiar views, embodies, in his own style, the 
excellencies of another. Every student in Art must not only be furnished, in the 
first instance, with ideas, but with some graphic means of expressing them ; and 
as the first difficulty to be overcome in Art is the attainment of signs for the 
expression of ideas, it is to this that the attention of the student will be chiefly 
directed throughout this volume. 

Every original painter relies chiefly on himself for the characters, or graphic 
language, which he employs in his interpretation of Nature. He diligently 
studies her beauties, and investigates the various modes adopted by his predecessors 
and contemporaries in their imitations of her originals, deriving from each such 
aid as may be most subservient to his own views; and thus making their thoughts 
and practice conducive to the eventual attainment of a method both true and 
original. The amateur is differently placed ; Art, with him, is but a secondary 
consideration, a part only of his education. Exempted from the necessity of 
becoming conspicuous for high and peculiar attainments, he is enabled to save 
himself much time, by at once adopting the ideas of others, without studying for 
himself their natural prototypes. He should be careful, however, to assure 
himself that the productions of Art which he selects for imitation have been 
wrought from a knowledge of Nature ; for on his ability to make a right selection 
depends the profitable employment of his time. 

Like language, Art also has its rules ; and it is within its province not only 
to express some ideas more powerfully than written language, but also to 
distinctly represent others that are wholly inexpressible by its more arbi- 
trary signs. 

Those who would aspire to pourtray the creations of a vivid fancy, or to 
depict Nature, faithfully and forcibly in all her charming and endless variety, must 
consent to adopt such means as are employed in the acquisition of written 



4 



INTRODUCTION. 



language itself. None ever indulge a hope of learning a language unknown 
to them by merely tracing its characters, or transcribing a few passages from 
books written in it ; none would be so unreasonable as to suppose that they could 
attain any degree of literary excellence by imitating the peculiar handwriting of 
some celebrated author. Why, then, should any one expect to attain excellence 
in Art by the mere mimicking of its characters, as employed by any particular 
master? The belief, however, is all but universal, that mechanical copying is 
the ready road to such excellence ; and years of the most precious portion of life 
are but too frequently wasted in mind-less imitations of other people's modes of 
representing Nature. Those who copy, however accurately, may continue to do 
so through a long life with unabated zeal, and yet never be able to express 
by means of Art one original idea. 

If the study of Art be commenced on right principles, and steadily pur- 
sued, skill in its practice may be attained by all in proportion to their general 
aptitude for other intellectual pursuits. Art, if properly viewed, should be 
esteemed an indispensable part of a liberal education ; for who is there amongst 
the many young men daily leaving our public schools and universities, with 
leisure and fortune at their command, that would not feel it to be an ac- 
quisition? It has, indeed, been called a new sense, from the gratification it 
affords, and the power it gives of fixing scenes, persons, and events, to which 
the memory can refer. Who is there to whom in future life such a pursuit 
would not be delightful, if not eminently useful? It would afford a delightful 
retrospect to the nobleman and gentleman who have sought foreign climes in 
order to extend their knowledge of the world, but whose recollections of 
scenes and places they have visited, perhaps for the first and last time, are every 
day becoming more and more indistinct. What a source of pleasurable interest 
to themselves, to be enabled, with the pencil, to recall them, both to the mind 
and the eye, with truth, freshness, and reality! The world has been greatly 
benefited by the valuable information derived from Pictorial Art. Without fatigue, 
all the ends of the earth, its inhabitants, its forms and features, organic and 
inorganic, are rendered familiar to us. It brings home to our hearths the reliques 
and vestiges of former ages ; it records what " Time's effacing fingers" are daily 
obliterating ; it enlarges on all sides our field of mental vision, and becomes daily 
a more indispensable coadjutor to the extension of knowledge. However desirable 



INTRODUCTION 



5 



in other instances, skill in Art is highly important in the profession of Surgery ; 
for it is an undeniable fact, that the Medical man may, within the compass of an 
ordinary volume, procure for himself more valuable and varied materials to refresh 
his memory, and apply to daily recurring cases, than he would be able either to 
gather or to retain in the shape of preparations ; and this, too, without hazard or 
difficulty, and at a less cost of time and trouble : and many distinguished prac- 
titioners have most successfully availed themselves of Art, as a means of imparting 
information which could not otherwise be conveyed-* To how many of our 
Soldiers and Sailors are we not indebted for our knowledge by graphic representa- 
tion of the scenes in which they have travelled and fought ? The Lawyer who 
can draw, has thus an additional language to assist him in eliciting or affording 
explanations where every other language fails. To the Engineer and Mecha- 
nician, it is absolutely necessary : — in short, there are few conditions of life in 
which it would fail to prove a most useful auxiliary, applicable to many purposes 
not contemplated until its powers are tested. As an accomplishment, it is no 
small part of its recommendation that it has often proved a most valuable 
resource in the vicissitudes of fortune. 

Seeing the general usefulness of Art, it seems truly astonishing that, as a 
branch of education, it should be so much neglected. This neglect appears the 
more striking, when it is considered that, under proper instruction, all might 
acquire sufficient knowledge for every practical purpose. The youthful and 
the least informed mind may be initiated into a knowledge of the principles of 
Art without more consideration of innate predisposition than is looked for in 
regard to other studies. Does any parent ask what degree of genius in youth 
is necessary to the acquirement of Latin and Greek, or of any other language ? 
or for a natural inclination sufficiently marked towards any other branch of a 
general education? All who are required to receive what is termed a good 
or liberal education, are, without much reference to native talent, placed in 
circumstances favourable for its attainment. Yet, with reference to Art, it is 

* If the Student derives much of his most valuable knowledge, during his attendance at the 
Lecture-Room and the Hospital, from a progressive series of Anatomical Plates, how much more would 
delineations, founded upon his own experience, in after life, with observations on the cases, form an 
invaluable storehouse of surgical facts, applicable to new accidents and presentations, and always at hand 
to assist the uncertainty of memory? 



6 



INTRODUCTION 1 . 



the reverse of all this : every parent first desires to discover in his children some 
demonstrations of natural inclination for it ; and not until satisfied on this head 
does he venture to place them under instructors ; and then only as an experiment 
to ascertain if his conjectures concerning their talents be correct. Not (infre- 
quently, from his own ignorance of any benefits derivable from Art, he is led 
to look upon it merely as busy idleness — a pastime, occasionally filling up a few 
vacant hours; or, at best, merely affording — more especially from the hand 
of a daughter — some trifling ornaments for the drawing-room, whose appearance 
is not generally improved by such family decorations. These are the successors 
of the ancient family of samplers, and of the yet more ridiculous pretensions 
to pictures, wherein the Gentle Shepherdess, Charlotte at the Tomb of Werter, 
or some equally touching incident, was most elaborately set forth in gaudy silks 
and worsteds. Such tawdry inanities, in by-gone days, passed for taste, and 
occupied the place of that which now, in its turn, should be removed for what 
is better and more intellectual. From the boy is expected some glaring and ample 
display, and he is encouraged to attempt something great ; which, when com- 
pleted, by the finishing touches of an abler hand, — concealing the young artist's 
want of power, or correcting his mistakes,— is viewed by indulgent friends and 
relatives as an indisputable mark of his genius. The youths themselves, 
ungratified by the applause which they know to be undeserved, are happy for 
the time in gaining the box of colours (or paints, as they call them), with all 
the enticing paraphernalia so adapted to the waste for which their prolific 
ingenuity never fails to find ample scope. When older, they learn too late how 
little real knowledge they have acquired; and, disappointed with a practice in 
which much of their time has been irksomely, because fruitlessly, spent, they 
attach no real value to Art, but rather look on it with disdain. 

Those who do not apply for instruction in Art until after their education 
in other respects has been completed, have, at this advanced period, to contend 
against many disadvantages. Their time is then no longer at their own disposal, 
on account of their being immersed in pursuits of profit or pleasure ; and their 
matured minds enable them to comprehend the theory of Art so readily and 
so fully, that they have, in consequence, too little patience to apply it, and 
to overcome the mechanical difficulties necessarily attached to the practice. 
Disinclined to submit to the labour requisite to overcome the preliminary 



INTRODUCTION. 



7 



difficulties, and hoping to find some " easy style," they wander from one Artist 
to another, till, wearied with the fruitless search, and disappointed in their 
hopes of quickly attaining excellence, they abandon the pursuit of Art, — 
ending, as they begun, in error; for they ascribe their want of success to then- 
want of genius, — whereas the true cause was their neglect of employing means 
within their power. Generally speaking, it is better not to enter upon .the 
study of Art too c arl}- ; for, as it is an appeal to the mind, and not, as com- 
monly supposed, to the eye only, and requires reflection, discrimination, and 
judgment in the proper application of its means, it may be taken up with the 
best prospect of success by those who are sufficiently advanced to possess such 
qualifications. 

Tl lese observations, though true as regards Amateurs, do not equally apply 
to those who would devote themselves to Art as a Profession ; for as their business 
is to excel, and, if possible, to carry the pursuit beyond their predecessors (an 
arduous and difficult task), or to strike out some new objects for attainment, they 
should never take it up unless naturally predisposed to do so ; but when once 
determined, they should devote themselves heart and soul to the undertaking 
the moment that circumstances will permit. 

Success in the Artist or Amateur depends on the general powers of the 
mind, and on these being rightly directed. The method here presented, is 
intended to assist the Master to explain his Art in such a manner, that his time 
and talent may not be thrown away, nor the Pupil labour in vain. That this is 
too frequently the case, numbers of those who both give and receive Lessons can 
amply testify. And why is this ? Because the Artist is called upon to explain 
how he paints his Pictures, or, in other words, to teach his "style;" for those 
who apply to him, but too frequently seek only to know the particular colours he 
uses, and how he compounds, and spreads them over a given surface. From 
want of the necessary previous information in his Pupil, he, indeed, can rarely 
attempt more: prepared for the opposition to his assurances that the Pupil is 
beginning at the wrong end, and, knowing or fearing that his endeavours to 
impart really valuable, because rudimental, instruction, would be unavailing, he 
yields, and makes a semblance of teaching an ambitious aspirant to write the 
language of Art, before he has mastered its alphabet. Let us watch the Lesson, 
and examine its results. All are struck by the readiness with which the Painter 



s 



INTRODUCTION. 



produces a pleasing effect in his Picture — it has been the business perhaps of 
a few hours ; the Pupil has learned what colours are used — their mixture — and 
how applied ; knows the peculiar qualities belonging to them — how, if wrong, 
they are to be removed ; he has seen the mechanism of the work — but nothing 
more. All the complexity of thought necessary to its production must be going 
on at the same time, but the Painter cannot stop to explain the various reasons 
which influence his operations, still less to describe the elementary and progressive 
steps by which he at length acquired his enviable power. Unhappily, his Pupil 
can do no more than follow the mechanical progress of the work with his eye, 
without being able to follow the Artist in his mind. Thus he witnesses the 
completion of Picture after Picture, and, if he gains any information, it is of Mich 
a kind as he can rarely or never apply for himself. As yet, he has not learned 
the "knack" he sought; and, after a like trial of another and another Master, he 
at length discovers that he has indeed begun at the wrong end. He has not 
taken into consideration the years of previous study ;— the thousand failures that 
preceded success ; — the stores derived from the study of Nature and Art ; — 
the materials collected the experience ; though all these have been silently 
and invisibly operating, and the result is now seen concentrated in the Drawing 
or Picture before him. The ease, the freedom, the decision, at once surprise and 
delight; but the labour of years, not of hours, has been witnessed. Does the 
Pupil believe it possible that so much knowledge can be made available to him by 
the practice of a few hours ? — knowledge, to gather and develop which, the Artist 
has brought into action all his enthusiasm and the most unwearying industry. 
It is enough, by way of answer, to recall the well known anecdote of Sir Joshua 
Reynolds, who, when one of his sitters paid for his picture, and observed it was 
for three hours' work, replied, " No, Sir, it is for the work of thirty years." How 
different is the plan pursued in regard to other Teachers, when imparting instruc- 
tion in the various other branches of a liberal education ! They are permitted to 
begin with the elements of the knowledge required. The Musician begins by 
teaching the value of the notes, their names, &c. The Linguist, from the 
alphabet, proceeds through the orthography of the words, their sounds and 
meaning, and from their grammatics 1 agreement to the finished sentence. The 
Artist, however, strange to say, is almost invariably required to begin with the 
end, and to deceive his Pupil by pretending to impart in a few hours that 



INTRODUCTION, 



9 



which he has devoted a life to acquire. I lay particular stress on these mistakes, 
as they are the real impediments to a more general diffusion of a sound know- 
ledge of Art. 

There are other errors equally fatal to the acquisition of Art. Some persons, 
whose ambition does not tempt them beyond the use of the Chalk or Pencil, 
choose their models according to their natural dispositions, selecting such as 
are "bold" or "soft" Indeed, all works of Art are distinguished by them under 
one or other of these appellations, and are estimated accordingly. By such mis- 
bestowed admiration, they unfortunately betray their own want of knowledge; 
for surely nothing can be more absurd than the delight too commonly expressed 
at seeing Rocks and Trees, Stocks and Stones, " so attractively soft," — a quality 
at variance with their very nature. There are also many who appreciate the 
merits of an Artist by the amount of labour visible in his works ; and who dwell 
with admiration on the numberless times it has been necessary for him to retouch 
a Picture. In other pursuits, such tests rather make the want of ability the 
more apparent The admiration bestowed on others for their "boldness and 
dash" (the usual expressions) is equally mistaken, where the boldness consists 
in the reckless freedom with which every principle of Art and Nature is violated ; 
where every particle of resemblance is unheeded, nay, almost avoided, for the sake 
of exhibiting an appearance of power, when, in reality, ignorance is rendered 
the more apparent from the assumed disguise. For examples of the bold style 
(and bold it truly is so to outrage Nature), and of the highly finished or soft 
style, see Plates 14 and 15. The general errors relative to instruction in Art, 
and in the selection of "bold" or "soft" examples as models, are my apologies 
for noticing them. 

These prevalent, and even fashionable, errors, are not only fatal to the 
development of real talent, but are directly opposed to the acquirement of that 
knowledge which can alone give to Amateurs the power to appreciate Art, or 
the ability to practise it with success. 

Amateurs and Students will do well to attend to the advice of the Artist 
who urges them to use the Chalk or Pencil; for both, though simple, are yet 
effective instruments in the practice of elementary Art : indeed, the true foun- 
dation of Art is to be laid in the mastery over one or the other. There is no 
" royal road " for either Artist or Amateur, and there are not two different roads 



10 



INTRODUCTION. 



respectively adapted to each ; consequently, if in this work the road be shortened, 
or in any manner smoothened, it is as imperative on the one as on the other to 
adopt it. Whatever may be their expectations, I can confidently assure them, 
that, unless they will devote their time to a right pursuit of Art, they can never 
hope to succeed in any respect, much less to become Painters of Pictures. Can it 
be denied, that it would be much more desirable, to devote sufficient time to acquire 
sound information, and the power to skilfully use the Chalk or Pencil, and to be 
alive to all the charms of Nature and Art, rather than to libel and outrage both 
by unmeaning "boldness 1 ' or "softness?" This is but too frequently done by 
those who endeavour to reach at once a degree of excellence, which can only be 
attained by a long course of unremitted study and constant practice. 

It has been the ordinary fate of Art in these days, notwithstanding the 
advantages which it offers, to be looked upon as little better than a plaything. 
This arises from a want of perception of the importance of Art, and from an 
opinion of its not being within the reach of regular instruction. Works of Art 
are indeed looked upon as the residt of some especial gift, with which Artists are 
endowed by Nature. There can, however, be no greater mistake. Can persons 
be great in Art, and yet be in all other respects without talent ? Or, do the most 
highly gifted in other respects, understand Art without the aid of observation and 
reflection? Without these they can neither justly appreciate its merits, nor 
derive true pleasure from its beauties; and, in consequence, much of the Book 
of Nature is sealed to them. All her grand and graceful combinations are lost 
on those who refuse to study properly the only means which can open their eyes 
to behold, and their minds to receive, the varied impressions of her grandeur 
and beauty. 

The study of the Chalk or Pencil, unaided by Colour, the one grand object 
of most Amateurs, offers little to attract their attention. Without troubling 
themselves to reflect on what may be the advantages derivable from the use 
of those simple instruments of Art, they at once despise them as unworthy of 
consideration. Captivated by the charms of Colour, they neglect the preliminary 
study of Form and Composition, and thus involve themselves in inextricable diffi- 
culties* These they generally ascribe to a want of natural talents, though with 
as much reason as the mariner, who had never studied the science of Navigation, 
would attribute his shipwreck to a want of genius. Sir Joshua Reynolds has 



INTRODUCTION. 



11 



remarked, that " those who have never observed the gradation by which Art is 
acquired, who only see what is the full result of long labour and application, of an 
infinite number and infinite variety of acts (and such is the progress towards the 
power of painting Pictures), are naturally apt to conclude, from their inability to 
do the same, that it is not only inaccessible to them, but can be reached by those 
only who have some gift of inspiration." When, however, it can be shown that, 
by the use of simple instruments, such as the Chalk or Pencil, all persons may 
attain the great essentials in Art,— correct and striking delineation of Form 
and Character,— they deservedly claim more consideration before being hastily 
rejected. 

From the very commencement, truths are to be learned, and their relative 
values ascertained. All such as relate to the form of objects, their character, 
arrangement, mutual influence, and their light and shadow, may be learned by the 
use of the Chalk or Pencil ; and, when the mind is familiar with the truth in 
these respects, and when practice has enabled us to display it with facility and 
effect, we arc then in a condition to advantageously avail ourselves of the more 
powerful means of Colour,— but not till then. What are the natural steps which 
conduct to it ? At first in possession of but few ideas, a simple instrument is all 
we can require to express them ; they increase in number and in force, and 
exceed our power to depict them satisfactorily with our previous simple means. 
We are then naturally led to adopt such as are more efficient ; perhaps we first 
take up one colour, such as sepia, and, when this in its turn is found too feeble 
and limited, we then take up various colours; being prompted by a desire to 
express ideas only within their especial province, and to find in their more 
extended capabilities, ample means for the display of our more extended know- 
ledge and feeling in all their force. Any other course, which presents us with 
means, far in advance of our knowledge or necessities, must be fallacious. There 
must always be a relation between our ideas and the means we employ to express 
them. Comprehensive means do not bring comprehensive ideas ; but comprehen- 
sive ideas will always suggest the search for the means most capable of expressing 
them: indeed, they give increased capacity to the most feeble. Hence, then, 
Colours, the most comprehensive of all the means of Art, if sought at first, lead 
to inextricable difficulties, and have the effect of discouraging natural aptitude, by 
presenting to it obstacles which appear insurmountable. 



12 



INTRODUCTION. 



The principles which I have endeavoured to explain in the following pages, 
are such as have guided my own judgment and practice; and, should they be 
proved to be erroneous, I shall at least suffer as much as those whom I propose 
to assist. If, on the contrary, they be founded on Nature, the only true basis of 
Art, and be proved to be essential, they should be as valuable in time to come as 
they now are. If they will stand this test, they are unquestionably entitled to be 
received, and ought not to be rejected, however they may vary from previously 
entertained and widely circulated opinions. 

The contents of these pages 1 hope may tend to correct the erroneous views 
of Art too generally entertained ; exemplify the value of ^ell-founded principles; 
and render useful service both to those who teach, and to those who are learning, 
the Elements of Pictorial Art. 





[ Plate I 



CHAPTER I 



GENERAL REMARKS ON THE USE OF THE CHALK, OR THE LEAD PENCIL. 

TO insure success in the use of instruments of any kind, it is necessary that 
their nature, qualities, and adaptation for the purposes to which they are to 

be applied, should be perfectly understood. The instruments here treated 
of are, the Chalk, or Lead Pencil ; and the end to be accomplished by 
their use, an imitation of Nature. I shall first endeavour to explain their 
properties, how far they are adapted to attain the object proposed by their 
application, and what circumstances in nature, many or few, lie within their 
capacity to imitate. 

It is, or ought to be, the object of all Art to produce as near a likeness 
to Nature, in every respect, as the instrument, or material employed, will admit 
of; not so much by a laboiious copy addressed to the eye only, as by reviving in 
the mind those ideas which are awakened by a contemplation of Nature. In 
proportion to the vividness with which the pleasing features of Nature, under 
every circumstance and variety, of form, light, and shade, and colour, are revived 
and aided by the pictorial influences of Art, will be the merit of the picture. The 
renewal of the feelings originally excited by, or associated with, such features, 
constitutes the true purpose of Art; while the exhibition of the mechanical 
processes, or the operations of the instrument by which this is effected, should, 
as in the sister arts, be kept, as much as possible, out of sight : and since all 
materials and instruments are, more or less, adapted to this purpose, it is 
obviously important that we should study in what degree each is likely to 
succeed in accomplishing this important end.* 



* See " Principles and Practice of Art," Chap. II. " On Imitation." 



14 ON THE USE OF THE CHALK, OR THE LEAD PENCIL. 

As the Chalk and the Pencil are simple instruments, they are, consequently, 
more fitted for expressing the first and simplest ideas of Art. But as all their 
operations are earned on by lines, it is evident, that though in tracing the 
great variety of forms, or in giving the characters of objects, they are very effec- 
tive; yet, as distinct lines are not often found in Nature, either on the contour, 
or on the surfaces, of objects, they are, for these reasons, not always adapted 
for exactly imitating her. Were not their operations, indeed, carried on with 
judgment, advantage taken of their occasional fitness, and their general unfitness 
either concealed or avoided, nothing really satisfactory could ever he gained from 
their use. All imitations to be obtained by them are, first, with a line for the 
form, and with multiplied lines for the shades ; and these lines should be 
so distributed and arranged, that the eye may be as little as possible offended 
by their obtrusion ; and their distinctness, as mere lines, should be either totally 
or partially got rid of, as the case may demand, H The more unpretending, 
quiet, and retiring the means, the more impressive their effect Any attempt 
to render lines attractive, at the expense of their meaning, is a vice/' * Refer to 
Plates 2 and 3. In these we may see, that in the hair of the heads lines are 
not only useful but indispensable, and also in the drapery, where they assist in 
explaining its varied surface. On the other hand, for the flesh of the faces, and 
for the backgrounds of sky and trees, it is equally imperative there should be, as 
in these Plates, either no appearance of lines whatever, or that, as in the upper 
example of Plate 1, they should be so much subdued as to be unobtrusive. 
Though the absence of lines serves, in some cases, to give this character of 
smoothness ; yet then- presence is, in others, desirable, to indicate the rotundity, 
or sinuosity, of any surface, — such as of draperies. The distinctness of lines must 
be regulated, of course, by the character of the imitation in the other parts. 
Notwithstanding lines are, for the most part, contrary to Nature, these Examples 
may serve to show that they have power in conveying certain ideas ; for generally, 
according to their direction, on surfaces, such as drapery, where it is evident 
they may be the least positively like Nature, our notions of the form or 
direction of those surfaces, are from them in a great measure received and 
confirmed. 



ct Modem Painters,' 1 by a Graduate of Oxford. 



ON THE USE OF THE CHALK, OR THE LEAD PENCIL. 



15 



Let us take, as an example, the Roof of a House covered with tiles, and 
proceed to shade it, or exhibit its surface, by merely placing lines upon it, 
as in Ex. A., without reference to its slope or direction. It will be seen that the 
perpendicular lines suggest the idea of its being upright, in complete contradiction 




to the outline, which shows it to be oblique. Though more is done in Ex. B. by 
making the lines oblique, having the same inclination as the ends of the roof, 
yet as the nature of the covering is still not expressed, consequently some 
other arrangement must be adopted, which shall at the same time effect both. 
As tiles lie in horizontal lines, by such they will best be represented ; and so, by 
terminating them in oblique rows, parallel to the ends of the roof, the double 
purpose will be gained, as in Ex. C. For the perpendicular wall in each 
Example, perpendicular lines are employed, and are left visible — although in them- 
selves unlike Nature — because they convey an impression of truth by showing the 
wall to be upright. 

Again, in the drawing of the Hand, Plate 1, where every part is more or less 
round, lines placed parallel to the outline, as in the lower example, do not 
give that roundness effectively ; even thougli the proper degree of intensity in the 
the shadow be observed, the means obtrude : whereas, when carried in the 
direction of the surface, as in the upper example, its precise undulation is readily 
explained ; but here the means do not obtrude. Again, it must be observed, that 
as no lines in this instance, and others of a like kind, are to be found in Nature, 
the lines used are crossed in many directions, to neutralize their unavoidable 
dissimilarity in this respect, always leaving those most wanted to express the 
surface the most distinct; and, as in both these cases of the Roof and the Hand, 
the impression of Nature is more truly obtained, we become, in consequence, 



16 OX THE USE OF THE CHALK, OR THE LEAD PENCIL, 

affected only with the primary ideas sought to be conveyed, and are not annoyed 
with the means, which, considered abstractedly, are in all equally unlike Nature. 
These examples, though simple (for it must not be forgotten, that beginners are 
here meant to be addressed), will be sufficient to show to those who think on Art 
for the first time, that whenever a work of Art affords pleasure, it is because it is 
founded on some facts and principles in Nature, and not on means fortuitously or 
arbitrarily applied ; for though chance should once succeed, yet, unless the reason 
of its success be discovered, the same success cannot again be insured. 

In this way we first study Nature, and on the principles deduced from what 
we observe in her, we found such application of the means at our disposal, as may 
imitate her effectively. This ingenuity of the Artist, excited by and based on his 
knowledge, is commonly attributed to innate Genius, instead of being ascribed, as 
it ought, to an acquired habit of close observation and just comparison* 

The Student should, from the beginning, be encouraged in this way to take a 
philosophical view of Art, to reason on it well, that he may be able to practise it 
with effect ; to depend on the knowledge of principles, and not absurdly to rely 
u on some especial gift in themselves, some specific quality in the materials, or 
some false aptitude in their use, requiring no exertion of the mind to produce 
it, and making no appeal to the mind when done/' u It is not the eye, it is the 
mind," says Sir Joshua Reynolds, " which the painter of genius desires to 
impress ; nor will he waste a moment on smaller objects, which only catch the 
sense to divide the attention and counteract the great design of speaking to the 
heart." Were such consistent and enlarged views of Art more generally enter- 
tained among Amateurs, many would be added to the few whom we may be 
justly proud of possessing. 






CHAPTER II. 



ON FORM. 

PERHAPS there is no branch of Art so important as correct Drawing. It is 
the sure foundation of every excellence, short of colour ; and yet there is no 
branch so very much neglected, not only by those who merely take up Art as an 
amusement, but also by those studying for the future exercise of the Profession. 
All are too eager to use the brush, believing that colour and effect, in light-and- 
shade, comprise all that is necessary to be known; not considering that these 
alone, however good they may be, cannot afford satisfaction to the mind, if 
the Form of an object be incorrect. Incorrect Drawing is an offence to the 
eye, for which no excellence in other respects can compensate. 

Our first impressions with reference to Art, are derived from the forms of 
objects; it is by their shapes that we distinguish them from each other, and 
not by their light-and-shade, or colour : for, deprived of these, we can distinguish 
them, were we to grasp them in the dark, or blindfolded. Neither colour, nor 
light-and-shade, has any influence over their forms ; objects might change their 
colours, and yet retain their shape in all its integrity. 

For the purpose of drawing Forms simply, without regard to their peculiar 
or proper colours, the Chalk or Pencil is especially adapted. The know- 
ledge of Forms is so very important, and the power to draw them well, is a 
qualification so indispensable to the Amateur, as well as to the Artist, that 
I think I may assert without fear of contradiction, that it would be impossible 
for any one, not possessing such knowledge and power, to attain any degree of 
excellence in Art, or to produce any work of great merit when viewed as a whole. 
Correct drawing, or delineation of Form, is the only sure foundation for Art ; and 
with its unaided power many works have stood the test of ages, and excited the 
admiration of every generation, and every individual who has seen them. Witness 



18 



ON FORM. 



the wonderful and almost magic statues of the ancient Sculptors, which yet look 
as if they came breathing from the hands of a Praxiteles, a Phidias, or a Michael 
Angelo. Form is the Sculptor's only sphere of effect ; and yet what beauties he 
displays ! To him colour is valueless ; the beauty of his outline not only com- 
pensates amply for its absence, but so little is the want of it felt, that there are 
few, with the smallest portion of good taste, whose feelings would not be outraged 
by its presence; and there are equally few who would not prefer the beauty 

T 

of well-proportioned and finely-formed features, to deformity bedecked in the 
richest colours. 

Form is the grand essential — the " prima materia" of Art ; and over this the 
Artist can obtain entire control. In this he may be perfect, and obtain a mastery 
even over Nature : for, by combining in a whole the separate perfections selected 
from a great number of individuals, he may produce a more perfect form than she 
bestows on any one ; whilst in Light-and-Shade, and Colour, he must ever feel his 
inferiority. There lives no man, nor perhaps has there ever lived one, so perfect 
in form as the Apollo Belvidere ; though from among the varied instances in 
Nature the parts have been collected which, in this sublime statue, are united 
into one perfect and transcendent whole. 

Among the other productions of Nature, there is a degree of perfection 
prevalent in the forms of each kind respectively ; and he who is best acquainted 
with the greater beauties of the human form, her most perfect work, will be more 
sensible of this fact, and will have an eye more keenly alive to observe all her 
other beauties, under all the properties and relations of form, quantity, symmetry, 
proportion, and variety. He becomes more ingenious in discovering the pictorial 
merits of every work of Man, and more skilful in directing the hand to aid the 
beauties, or correct the deformities, which he may find in the works of Nature, 

Though much gratification is not generally expected from the study of Form, 
yet much more may be received from it than is commonly imagined. Form has 
a decided influence on all minds ; and to various forms belong various sensations 
and associations : the Venus, or the Hercules — the Greek Temple, or the Gothic 
Cathedral — the Tree, full grown, or the Sapling — the sturdy Oak, or the pliant 
Birch,— each affects the mind with a different feeling ; and if this be perceptible in 
the broad differences marking one from the other, it is no less so in the more 
minute varieties incidental to each object of the same kind. This, then, constitutes 




Plate 2 




Plate 3 



' P 1, NS ^ RO 5 O 



ON FORM. 



19 



the necessity of being acquainted not only with Form generally, but for dis- 
tinguishing the greatest beauty of which each object is susceptible ; its beauty, of 
course, being in proportion to its capacity to raise in the mind all those feelings 
naturally connected with it. This is the beau ideal of Form. 

Infancy and Maturity affect us differently, and all examples of either unequally. 
In order, then, that each may be influential in the greatest degree possible, from 
many examples in each must be selected the most beautiful parts, which being 
skilfully combined, will enable us to awaken most powerfully those sensations 
individually and separately belonging to and associated with the different ages. 

But it is not circumstance of age alone, or the mere beauty peculiar 
to it, which affects us. Judging always of the merit of Art by its effect 
upon us, and by our dispositions, as well as by our knowledge, we cannot 
fail to admire most whatever we find most, accordant with our own particular 
feelings. This may be made quite evident by Plates 2 and 3 ; it would be 
less easy to prefer one to the other, according to our judgment, than it would 
be to prefer, according to our feelings, either the serious or the mirthful, — either 
the individual who appears to have been influenced by aristocratic associations, or 
the more simple child of Nature; and both may fascinate and excite pleasing 
emotions in the same mind, according as it is at one moment disposed to be grave, 
or at another gay. 

By observation and comparison, the patient investigator of Nature discovers 
beauties lying scattered and veiled amidst her blemishes ; beauties which are 
assembled and concentrated in the works of those whose abundant excellencies 
make them worthy of imitation and study ; helping the eye to become sensible of 
those accidental defects in Nature everywhere mixed up with her beauties, com- 
pleting the knowledge whereby the former is separated from the latter, and 
accomplishing a form " more perfect than any one original." At the same time 
that the exact form of all objects are learned, a desire is induced to express that 
knowledge correctly and tastefully, and the surest foundation is laid for that 
good taste and refinement, so necessary to direct the impulses of true genius. 

Some appropriate means by which the Student may acquire the ability 
to represent objects in all their differences of form and characteristics, constitute 
the elementary steps in Art ; and are here presented to him, coupled with 
an exposition of the laws common to them all. The end which he is to look 



20 



ON FORM, 



forward to is that nice perception of the superiority of one form of an object over 
another in point of beauty ; and, more especially, when the distinction is so 
delicate as to be felt, rather than seen.* 

To a correct Outline, all the beauties of expression and character may 
be superadded to a degree so powerful, as, in their combination, to leave little 
more to be desired for mental gratification. 

If the power to exhibit the refinement of beauty in any one object, 
other than the human form, were the Artist's only object, it would not be 
worth toiling for ; but it must be remembered, that his perception of the 
true and the beautiful in one thing, is a great step towards his perception 
of them in every other ; and having become alive to beauty, and sensible 
of its influence, refinement and grace, in proportion, pervade his works: they 
then not only present a true delineation of objects, but a faithful expression 
of all the accessory beauties of which they are susceptible. 

A thorough knowledge of the Human Form is required to enable us to clothe 
it well and consistently, since it never is, or never should be, so enveloped in 
Drapery, as entirely to hide its proportions ; and again, in Animals, where their 
hairy covering will not admit of being represented by continuous lines, such as are 
used in depicting other objects, the lines, or strokes, besides distinguishing the 
nature of that covering, should be so arranged as perfectly to suggest the 
true Form underneath (See F, in Plate 4). This Example also serves to cor- 
roborate w r hat is said in pages 14 and 15, 

To become acquainted with the forms of objects under every variety of 
action, position, and place, and to acquire the power to draw them well, without 
fear and without failure, it is necessary to draw them repeatedly. This 
power is best attained with an instrument like the Chalk, or Pencil, the 
operations of which, if incorrect, can be easily and repeatedly effaced, and 
with equal readiness renewed. In its firmness, the yet trembling, because unskil- 
ful, hand finds a rest or stay, till, assured by practice, and guided by knowledge, 
it gradually becomes independent of support, and is enabled to trace forms cor- 
rectly, rapidly, and boldly. Then, with the certain prospect of success, the Chalk, 
or Pencil, may be laid aside for the Brush, the operations of which require great 

* See " Principles and Practice of Art," Chap. IV., On Beauty of Form. 



ON FORM 



2\ 



dexterity and rapidity, particularly in Water-Colours, where the difference 
between all that is good or all that is intolerable (I speak only of the mechanism) 
depends on using it without that hesitation which at first is generally felt when 
using a Brush, whose operations are known to be indelible, or nearly so. For 
though various devices may be had recourse to for removing faults and failings, it 
is not easy to hide them when they have been once committed ; and if devices be 
used in one part, they are almost rendered necessary throughout the Drawing, so 
that mistakes may not be more obvious in one part than in another, and also that 
their detection may thus be made difficult. How vastly superior in many essential 
and valuable qualities of Art are the works of those whose skill and decision mark 
a perfect acquaintance with, and mastery over their subject, compared with the 
timid and uncertain productions of others, who, notwithstanding their patient toil 
and unwearied labour in correcting, or rather in overlaying their failures, can 
hardly coax a spiritless and unmeaning picture into being ! * 

In Drawing forms readily and accurately, the eye requires as much practice 
to see truly, as the hand to execute : those nice shades of difference, which 
distinguish one thing from another, of a like kind, or one position of it from 
another, are neither seen, nor depicted, intuitively. .Even the simplest forms assume 
complicated shapes where they are viewed in the direction of their planes; and 
although it may be very easy to perceive that a circle is a circle, when the eye is 
immediately over its centre, it is not equally easy to depict the degree of its 
approximation towards an oval, in proportion as the eye is removed from the 
centre, and as the visual ray becomes parallel with its plane. If we take 

any simple and single figure, which must always be made up of 
at least two lines, such as a leaf of any kind; so long as the 
visual ray is at right angles to its surface we distinctly see its 
form, and it is comparatively easy to adapt the lines to each other, so as to 
represent it truly; but if the object be seen obliquely, that is, if the visual 

* " We have little doubt that almost all such failures arise from the Artist's neglecting the use of 
the Chalk ; and supposing that either the power of drawing Forms, or the sense of Beauty, can be main- 
tained un weakened or un blunted, without constant and laborious studies in simple Light and Shade, of 
Form only. The Brush is at once the Artist's greatest aid and enemy ; it enables him to make his power 
available, but at the same time it undermines his power ; and unless it be constantly rejected for the 
Pencil, never can be rightly used. 1 ' — " Modern Painters," by a Graduate of Oxford, page 236, 
second Edition. 




22 



ON FORM. 





ray be not at a right angle with the surface, but inclining towards its plane, 
then we no longer see the true figure, and have to represent it by two lines, 
both of which vary considerably from the true form, and yet adequately suggest 
it to the mind. 

We may take a cube, each side of which is a square, and can be readily 
represented by four straight lines of equal length, and at right angles with 

each other : when viewing this body, it may be so placed that 
the visual ray may be more or less in the direction of the three 
sides which may be seen at the same time; it then would 
assume the form here given, where each side is represented by 
a form quite different from a square, and each angle, instead of 
being a right angle, as it is in Nature, is here either acute or 
obtuse. Although the lines describing it vary from the actual truth, they still 
convey to the mind a correct idea of the actual figure. 

Now, if this be the case with a figure so comparatively simple as a cube, and 
if to represent it truly requires a practised eye and hand, much more knowledge 
and skill must be required to represent the human form, or any portion of it, 
in all its various aspects, when seen from different points of view and in different 
positions ; to adapt and adjust the ovoid curves of which it consists, and that so 
truly as to present a complete embodiment of a perfect form, though every line 
be at variance with the form as it actually exists in Nature. 

An egg, viewed with its longer axis perpendicular to the visual ray, takes the 
form by which we generally recognise it ; if viewed from either end, directly in a 
line with its longer axis, it is then of a circular form ; both these forms may 
be easily understood and represented : but when viewed as it lies on a table, and 
when its longer axis is not immediately presented to us, its form then differs essen- 
tially from those alluded to, hut withal, by such nice shades of difference, as to 
require great practice, either to see, or to trace, them truly. 

I hope I have said enough to convince the lover of Art how much 
is to be gained by the study of Form ; — that he ought to devote his first labours 
to correct Drawing, enthusiastically and exclusively, as the best means of attain- 
ing the end to which he aspires, rather than vainly to waste his time in seeking, 
by application to this or that Master, to be put at once into possession of a power 
which has excited his ambition. If he fancies that he can obtain by purchase, a 



OX FORM. 



23 



talent which is only to be acquired by diligent and well-directed study, he will 
most certainly be disappointed. 

At the commencement, the Student is surrounded by difficulties, which 
he should attempt to surmount one by one ; to overcome many, or all, at a time, 
would be impossible. When this is expected, or attempted, by commencing 
at first, or too early, with Colour, disappointment is inevitable. There can be no 
doubt that to this cause may be attributed, in many instances, the want of 
success, and in many more the relinquishment of the pursuit altogether : 
whereas, by the contrary course, the difficulties unavoidably attending the 
practice of Art, gradually yield to his assiduity; while a consciousness of 
improvement cheers him in his pursuit, and encourages him to continue 
his labours. He may rest assured that, though the practice of the Chalk 
or Pencil, may appear dry and unprofitable, he is most certainly taking the 
best and surest road, and is laying the foundation for a positive and speedy 
mastery over those difficulties which are peculiar to Light-and-Shade, and 
Colour ; for unless he have the knowledge and practice of Form, he cannot 
give his unfettered energies to the other great branches of Art. 

A knowledge of Perspective is a great aid to correct delineation ; but it does 
not go beyond this, and does not enable us to convey one particle of sentiment. 
The principles of Perspective it would be unnecessary here to lay down, 
as so many excellent works on the subject have already been published, and the 
required knowledge can be obtained from all or most of them. 



CHAPTER III 



ON THE APPLICATION OF THE CHALK, OR PENCIL, TO THE DRAWING OF FORMS. 

THE three grand divisions of Art, — Form, Light-and-Shade, and Colour, — are 
— entirely independent of each other, so that the merits of one cannot 
compensate for the defects of any of the others. The form of an object 
remains the same from whatever side it may be lighted; nor would a change 
of colour effect any change in its shape. 

Where so much depends on manual dexterity, it is important to practise in 
such a way as shall render the Hand most obedient to the Will ; because, when 
sketching from Nature, many objects require to be drawn rapidly, from their 




liability to change their position, — such as Figures, Animals, Boats, &c. It is 
highly important, under such circumstances, that the forms and relations of 
objects should be arrested while their first impressions on the mind— always 
the strongest — are yet fresh and vivid. 



ON THE APPLICATION OF THE CHALK, OR PENCIL, 



25 



Ignorance chiefly occasions the hesitation at first felt; and Forms of all 
kinds are timidly and inaccurately drawn, either by a series of dots, or by 
continuous lines void of character, as in the examples on the opposite page, 
or in some other way equally feeble and indeterminate- The same result also 
occurs when too much attention has been paid to the means, or when an 
effort has been made to throw off fear altogether. 

The method most likely to succeed is to first consider the direction of a Line, 
and then, having determined its two extremes, to mark both by a dot : whilst 
the hand commences from the upper one, the eye should regard the lower, and 
thus the mind is best assisted to comprehend what the hand is about to execute* 
If the Line be not too long, it should be drawn boldly and lightly, and at once : 
and though the first and second attempts, or more, should be unsuccessful, they 
ought not to be immediately effaced, as is the ordinary practice ; on the contrary, 
if they be lightly drawn, as they ought, and left on the paper, the Student, 
by having them before him, will be the better able to judge how far they are 
right or wrong, as compared with the object he is drawing from; and be 
thus guided in leaving what is right, or in correcting what is wrong. 

When any object has been satisfactorily sketched in this manner, the true 

Line should be selected from the others* 



It should be marked here and there 
emphatically ; not left continuous, lonely, 
and unbroken, even though made lighter 
or darker, by way of giving some idea of the 
Light-and-Shade, as in the annexed ex- 
ample : because, however well drawn and 
executed in such a way, violence is, never- 
theless, done to our feelings, by forcing on 
our attention the falsehood of a hard boun- 



dary Line, in connexion with the truth of 
Form, and thus enfeebling its effect on us, 
by the mode of presenting it. The better 
plan is, rather to suggest the actual Form 
by approximating lines, than to define it absolutely by one; because at the same 
time that we are by such means made sensible of the true Form, and of the Light- 




26 



ON THE APPLICATION OF THE CHALK, OR PENCIL. 



and-Shade, we gain also some idea of the character of the surface, whether 
rotund or concave, such as the boles of trees and the sinuosities of draperies, as 
may be seen by the; annexed Examples. 




This method is superior to the dry and cold precision of a single line, 
and would seem to deserve the preference for the following reason :— there are no 
lines in Nature, as has been before remarked ; consequently, in Art none should 
be distinctly apparent. By this means, as two or three lines arc given, and are 
only here and there emphatically marked ; and as from their sometimes uniting, 
and sometimes separating, it would be very difficult, if not impossible, to say 
which line had been the first, or which the second, or to trace the course of either 
definitely ; and as the true line belongs entirely neither to one nor another, and 
sometimes even would be found between two of them, — it must then be an 
imaginary one, existing only in the mind: the perfect truth being adequately 
suggested by what is done, the attention does not become fixed on the defect 
of lines as representatives of Nature. 



TO THE DRAWING OF FORMS. 



27 



Before proceeding farther, it may be as well to observe that, when first 
sketching the objects, the Pencil should be held so as to have the point about an 
inch and a half, or two inches from the ends of the fingers, and the thumb brought 
so low down as to be nearly opposite to them ; and all should be rather bent, as 
shown in the upper Example of Plate 1, so that their flexibility may be entirely 
at command. When sketching, particularly on a large scale, instead of working 
from the joints of the fingers or the wrist, the whole arm should be at liberty 
from the shoulder joint, and support should be obtained only from the tip of the 
little finger. It is a common habit to hold the Pencil like the Pen— a great fault ; 

for the Hand, being thus confined, is able only to make 
with facility lines in the direction necessary for writing ; 
whereas, in drawing, they are required in every pos- 
sible direction, and of every form : it is of the utmost 
consequence, therefore, that all the pliability of which 
the Hand is capable, should be brought into action. 

All inclined lines will be most accurately drawn, 
by comparing them with lines forming a right angle, 
either by actually drawing the right angle against the 
line required, or by supposing it. The former is the 
better plan in the first instance* Upon the horizontal line A C, it will be easily 
seen how far the point C is from the angle A, and how high up on the perpendi- 
cular line the point I) is from 
A : the two points decide the 
inclination of the "line D C. 

Again, in the Gable-end of 
the House, in the annexed ex- 
ample : — first draw the perpen- 
dicular line A B, and the line 
D C at right angles with it; 
and having ascertained how far 
up the line A B, the apex of the 
Gable I is to be, and how far 
from B, on the line D C, are the ends E and C of the sloping lines of the roof, 
which form the Gable, place the two points, E and C, and draw the lines I C 





28 



ON THE APPLICATION OF THE CHALK, OR PENCIL, 



and I E, observing to continue the latter to the point F, below the line D C, 
and the true inclination of the roof will be obtained. It will be easily seen 
where the point F is to be, by drawing the line F B C forming an acute angle 
with D C. Then again, for the perspective line of the roof I H, first draw the 
horizontal line I K indefinitely ; and having determined how far on that line, as at 
K, as well as how much below K, the point H would come, the direction of the 
line H I is gained. This being done, the further corner to the right, nearly in 
a line with C at the opposite extremity of the roof, the lower line of the roof 
may be determined by the direction of the line D C produced, considering 
how far the required point ought to be below this line, and how far it would 
extend beyond where the perpendicular line, continued downward from H, 
would cross it ; next let fall perpendicular lines from the points F and C, for 
the angles of the wall : thus, unaided by any knowledge of Perspective, the 
whole is drawn with sufficient accuracy. 

Gothic arches, or any other figure composed of 
curved lines, may also be accurately drawn, by first 
setting up a framework of right lines, such as the per- 
pendicular lines a a a a, and the three horizontal lines, 
in the annexed example. The original, or model, is 
either to be divided, or conceived to be divided, by 
straight lines in the same manner and proportion- The 
curves may thus be precisely determined by observing 
their relation to the straight lines as they approach, 
come in contact with, or recede from them. The most 
complicated forms, whether curved or angular, may be 
accurately, though mechanically, drawn by means of a 
frame-work of lines, at right angles with each other, 
forming a number of squares* The practice, however, 
here recommended is intended only as an aid to the eye in the beginning; 
if carried beyond this, the Student would acquire the habit of determining on the 
accuracy of his drawing, not by comparing, as he ought, one line with another, 
and judging of the adaptation of all by their significancy and power in conveying 
a clear and correct idea of the object, regardless of the union of all in a 
whole ; he would take part by part, and judge of every line by comparison with 





TO THE DRAWING OF FORMS. 



29 



those artificially employed ; — and thus, instead of deciding on the merits of his 
copy by its general significance as compared with the original, he would estimate 
it by its correspondence in detail with the means employed to obtain accuracy 
mechanically. 

The curved lines in the Human Figure may be obtained in a similar manner, 
by first drawing straight lines, inclining, according to the intended direction of 
the curves, as in the annexed Example, and forming a continued series of angles. 
Then, by merely cutting off the 
positive angles more or less ab- 
ruptly, by lines of greater or 
smaller curvature, as may be re- 
quired, we thus obtain more per- 
fect and delicately varied curves, 
than could be obtained by drawing 
continuous curved lines at first. 

This method of comparing 
sloping and curved lines with such 
as are perpendicular or horizontal, v *— 
is not confined to copying. It is 
also of great use in drawing from 
material objects, whether natural 
or artificial; the Port-crayon, or 
Pencil, will serve where comparison 
is required with horizontal lines ; and a string with a small weight at one end, and 
used as a plumb line, will serve for such parts as require to be compared with a 
perpendicular line. By such simple methods the relations of the lines, — whether 
straight or curved, or both, — of the most complicated forms, may be accu- 
rately compared and estimated, which is the first step towards their being 
accurately drawn. 

These Examples, well studied, will, it is hoped, be sufficient to show the 
intelligent Pupil the necessary application of this method ; experience only can 
teach him how far it may be extended. In drawing Forms, it is almost universally 
applicable. 

At first, it is more than probable that the difference between the merit of two 



s ) 




30 



ON THE APPLICATION OF THE CHALK, OR PENCIL, 



methods employed in drawing the Examples, given in pages 24 and 26, will not 
strike the Student's eye, especially the hard outline of the Hand ; for as it has the 
great essential of correct drawing, the meagreness of the single line used is the less 
likely to be felt The difference between this and the other and better Examples, 
at page 26, is also less likely to be noticed ; because in the latter, the outline, not 
being single, is not so manifest as he is at first always prone to make it. The dif- 
ferent Outlines are, however, very dissimilar in their effect. In the one, where the 
Outline is single and positive, the eye unavoidably follows it ; in the other, where 
the Outline is not single nor positive, the eye is unable to detect it without an 
effort, and, therefore, rests on the surface, as it does in Nature; and whilst 
the Form is perfectly understood, some idea is also obtained of the texture 
and roundness of the surface. But when, to the frigidity of a single line, incorrect 
drawing is added, its defects, as a representation of the natural boundary of an 
object, become more obvious. For reasons, previously alluded to, it is possible 
that the Student may discover no great difference between Plates 14 and 15, 
or between those and all the others given in this work. Unless his knowledge of 
Nature and of the purposes of Art should have corrected his judgment, he 
may even find himself joining in the popular error of admiring what is false 
and unnatural. Such admiration is the more to be guarded against, since Art 
is generally so little understood, that the Learner is in constant danger of being 
led away by the indiscriminate praises he hears bestowed on that which only 
pity spares from the severest criticism. 

In order, then, to avoid this liability of the Student to err, by mistaking 
the wrong for the right, which would leave him for ever in ignorance, he 
must make the improvement of the Hand depend on the correctness of his 
Judgment, and never allow himself to practise with the one, without having 
previously exercised the other. 

Though it might be admitted that the principles propounded and explained 
in this Work are correct, and beyond refutation, yet still objections might be 
be raised to the methods of working them out ; and it might be said that the 
processes are tedious, and likely to chill the ardour of genius* To this it may be 
replied that it is the same with all rules, whether of Science or Art — all are slowly 
acquired. Few, however, think that the true principles of language — so irksome to 
youth — destroy genius, and mar the future Scholar- All those rules and precepts 



TO THE DRAWING OF FORMS. 



31 



which are at first acquired with so much difficulty and reluctance, at length become 
familiar, and are habitually applied in practice without an effort. The Orator 
speaks correctly and fluently without reference to the rules of his grammar ; and 
the Artist, in like manner, at last draws without thinking of the rules which mecha- 
nically guided his early steps, — rules without which neither of them could bring 
his genius into full play, or refine and improve his feelings. The Student in 
language at first labours over his rules, and finds it difficult to express a simple 
idea, because his attention is distracted and divided between the idea and the 
language in which it is to be conveyed: but when he has learned his rules thoroughly, 
he then, unembarrassed and at ease, bestows his attention on the choice of words ; 
applies them with facility in their precise signification ; and at length feels, to the 
fullest extent, the force and spirit of the language, and conveys his ideas in it 
with proportionate power, taste, and feeling. By the same order of progression 
only can the Student in Art be made to learn and feel, and to impart his know- 
ledge and feeling to others effectively. 

The first sketch having been made, and the required forms, and their relative 
sizes, obtained bylines slightly traced, as in Plate 5; those lines should be partially 
removed, and the whole should be completed, by giving such character as will best 
convey a just idea of the nature of the object as well as of its form. The lines 
on the limits of the shadowed sides and parts are to be made darker and more 
evident, where they are more evident in Nature ; carefully comparing, moreover, 
the different parts with each other, and preserving in each its relative degree 
of intensity. The open windows, and the spaces between the piers, on which the 
building rests, are marked with darker lines ; and the stones of the piers with wider 
or narrower lines, accordingly as their separations would be found in Nature. It 
will also be seen, that besides the outline, much is necessary on the surface to 
characterise it properly ; — those parts only being depicted which in Nature are 
most evidently marked. 

All that can ever be effected with buildings, or, indeed, any other objects, 
is to convey distinctly an idea of Nature. In a Building, whether it be old 
or new, — whether the stones composing it be of regular or irregular shapes, — 
when sufficient is pourtrayed to show this, enough is done ; the likeness is not 
improved by exhibiting the portraiture of every stone, since the Spectator only 
recognises the circumstances above alluded to in connection with the general 



32 



ON THE APPLICATION OF THE CHALK, OR PENCIL. 



form: the number of stones contained in it being as little known to him as 
to the Painter, the exact representation of all is not felt as essential to a satis- 

factory resemblance. 

What is required in individual portraiture is, that the qualities and nature 
of the object should be so represented as to recall to the mind of another those 
features, circumstances, and ideas, by which it is remembered ; and these are 
entirely independent of the number of lines employed. 

We should acknowledge no greater degree of likeness in a Portrait, were the 
hairs of the head to be numbered, and every part elaborated with a Dutch-like 
patience. Much time, which might have been usefully employed in a more com- 
prehensive view of Nature, is thus often thrown away on insignificant details. 
Gerard Dow and Teniers painted Heads like Nature, and so did Vandyke and 
Titian ; but what a different effect is produced by each on the mind ! In Land- 
scape, Titian and Hobbima each adopted a manner varying from the other, and 
yet each was true to Nature. By the one, our ideas of Nature are exalted and 
improved, because he has selected her most striking and most imposing features, 
— her rarest combinations, — and has intellectually set them before us in works 
which engross our minds and feelings by a sense of what is impressive and 
beautiful. Not so by the other ; he has taken Nature as he found her — in her 
e very-day dress, — and has given us little more than the most unimaginative 
observer might see. By the one we learn to feel and to appreciate the sublime 
and the beautiful ; in the works of the other, we see that a laborious and 
mechanical effort has been made to obtain an exact copy of Nature, without 
regard to selection — without arrangement, sentiment, or beauty- Persons who 
are unacquainted with Art admire the works of Hobbima, because they are 
painted on a level with their capacities ; but the works of Titian, from being of 
a higher order, require that the mind of the Spectator should be cultivated before 
it can perceive the fulness of their merits, and justly appreciate the talent of 
the Artist. 

I have thought it advisable, nay indispensable, to urge, as I have done, the 
study of Form, not only as the best possible beginning of Art, whether for 
Amateur or Artist, but because it is so immediately connected with my particular 
subject, — The Use of the Chalk, or Lead Pencil, 



CHAPTER IV 



ON COPYING, AS PREPARATORY TO THE STUDY OF NATURE. 
"The mechanical practice of Art is learned by Copying." — Sir J. Reynolds. 

TO draw from Nature well, and to be able to select her most beautiful features, 
should be the ultimate aim of all who study Art ; and Art should be studied 
so as to obtain not only the most complete power over the means and appliances 
wherewith Nature may be imitated, but also a knowledge of what is within the 
proper province of Art to imitate. To attain the mechanical power, Copying 
of Examples is indispensable, — but not with a view of merely producing a fac- 
simile of any. A just idea of the subject intended to be worked out ought 
to be first acquired, and then the examples should be looked to for the 
mode of execution, bearing in mind the reasons for its adoption. When the 
copy is completed, comparison should be made with the original; not to 
determine the exactness of the resemblance between that and the copy, as 
regards the mere lines and strokes, but to see if the ideas intended to be 
conveyed are expressed with the same significance and power in the copy as 
in the original. 

Copying necessarily implies a certain amount of imitation, and a general 
adherence to the style, or mode of execution, of the original ; but lest this 
should degenerate into mere servile imitation, without anything like exercise 
of the mind, the Student, after having satisfied himself with the correctness 
of his copy, should then lay aside the original, and endeavour to re-produce 
the same subjects, with the same results, from memory. This, though at first 



34 



OX COPYING. 



difficult, is nevertheless a most important practice, as it is the first step towards 
originality, and towards that independence which all must possess, who, ere they 
can draw well from Nature, or do anything at all, and do it well, must depend 
on, and act for, themselves. 

The Student must start with the intention of Drawing from Memory ; and 
when he is able to make an accurate, and an intellectual copy, he should 
commence the practice. He should begin by taking single objects, or the separate 
parts of such as are complicated, and having drawn them twice or thrice, should 
note to what extent his memory has been faithful. It is with Drawing as with 
Music : the first step towards playing a passage correctly is made when it has 
been played a sufficient number of times to fix it on the memory. 

This practice of Drawing from Memory cannot be too much insisted on, as it 
best shows to what extent Copying is necessary ; since some require the practice 
more, and others less, according to the degree of facility with which ideas are 
acquired and retained. The great art of teaching ourselves or others is to adopt 
such means as shall make our own errors and the merits of our Example most 
sensibly felt. No measures can be taken to correct errors that are neither seen 
nor felt; and nothing can lead the Student so surely to detect them as the com- 
parison which he makes between his own productions from memory and the 

original before him. 

Drawing from Memory is moreover calculated to fix not only precise ideas 
of objects in the mind, but also the process of embodying them. By this practice 
the Student learns to detect with more precision what his deficiency consists 
in, and is by degrees induced to rely more on himself and less on his model. 
By thus early practising from memory, he lays the foundation for his future 
independence, when, emancipated from the trammels of imitation, he can turn to 
Nature for himself. But before he can do this, he must, by studying from good 
models, have his mind enlightened, know what there is in Nature, and be 
prepared to look for and enabled to perceive her beauties. 

Many believe that they cannot too soon study from Nature, as affording 
the best models. It is, indeed, true that she does ; but of what utility are they to 
those who know little or nothing of their positive or relative merits ; to whom the 
good, the indifferent, or the bad — for Nature has her deformities as well as her 
beauties — are all equally pleasing or unimpressive ? 



ON COPYING. 



35 



It is erroneous to suppose that we should go to Nature before we have 
acquired some knowledge, and cultivated and improved our taste, in some degree, 
by studying the works of those who have shown what is to be obtained there. 
The knowledge and experience of others ought to be the foundation on which 
we are to build, and on which we may expect to raise a superstructure of our 
own ; otherwise there could be no progression in Art. Until we have learned the 
principles of Art, and can carry them into operation, we are not in a condition to 
study Nature with advantage, or to depict her so satisfactorily that we may be 
encouraged to go on. 

That Student can hardly fail to draw well from Nature who, whilst copying 
the works of others, learns the principles of Nature therein displayed, and how 
they may be exhibited by means of Art; and he must first satisfy himself that 
lie has acquired this preliminary knowledge and skill, before he practises 
from her. 

When many objects in juxta-position, and of all forms, simple and com- 
plicated, at different distances, are to be drawn — and when, besides the true 
form of each, its relative size and peculiar characteristics must be known to 
be represented, — it is evident that to achieve this is an accomplishment which 
requires preparatory education, both in the knowledge of the objects themselves, 
and the capabilities of the instrument or instruments with which they are to 
be represented. 

All are greatly embarrassed, and inevitably so, in their early efforts to draw 
from Nature ; nor is this surprising, when we consider that the matchless original 
which they desire to imitate — complete, substantial, real — appears at once before 
them- When they find the apparently inappropriate materials from which her 
likeness is to spring, presenting, in their hands, every opposition to their task, 
it is no wonder they soon deem it hopeless. The work must of necessity have its 
various stages ; and little similitude can be seen until it approaches completion, 
although each step may bring it nearer. The imitation in its early stages is so 
dissimilar to Nature, that ultimate success seems impossible, even where the 
course most likely to insure it has been adopted. The Student must first carry 
into operation the materials of his Art by copying works of Art — be familiar with 
the likeness to Nature, in kind and degree, produced by the different stages of his 
work — be able to anticipate the result of each, from the beginning to the con- 



ON COPYING 



elusion, — before he can see his way clearly in drawing from Nature, or fix on a 
method of using the materials with such skill as to attain the desired object. But 
if he have studied good examples, and not merely imitated them, and tried the 
information he may have gained from them by what his memory retains, he will 
then look for no more likeness in the first stage of his Drawing, than should at 
first be expected ; he will plainly see in what respects that which he is doing 
resembles Nature, or in what it is deficient : he will be in no danger of obliterating 
what he has done well, nor of neglecting to obliterate what he has done badly ; 
and in this way, from the commencement of his work to its termination, he will 
be able to form a right judgment of its different conditions, and exercise that 
judgment without fear. 

The memory, as before observed, must, from the first, be exercised on simple 
objects or parts of such as are complicated, gradually learning to attach them to 
each other and to form a whole. Drawing from Memory is, indeed, at first 
attended with difficulties; but these difficulties vanish, like all others, before 
practice, and the memory at length retains the impression of an entire subject 
with as much ease as it does any part of it. This exercise of the memory, in 
studying Landscape, is the more important, as it is constantly necessary to refer 
to it. Nature's effects are fleeting and incessantly changing ; she is clad in her 
loveliest attire but for a short season, and her radiant autumn dress almost dis- 
appears as she puts it on. The Sun speeds with regular progression along his 
course ; when rising he prepares to set, and while setting, sinks. It is not always 
practicable to delineate the charms of Nature at the moment we observe them ; 
a variety of insurmountable obstacles frequently present themselves ; and the 
Artist is compelled to gather much from the resources which his recollection 
and his knowledge supply. This constitutes the great difficulty of Landscape 
Painting. 

To copy well is the beginning and the end of many an Amateur's hopes and 
expectations. To draw without an example appears so unattainable, that few aim 
at it, and fewer still expect to succeed ; yet the ordinary ambition of most to 
draw from Nature is to draw originally ; and for this purpose they should be early 
exercised in drawing from recollection. 

When much time has been devoted to Copying, and so much gained by it 
that a good copy can be made at hist without the trouble of constantly reverting 



ON COPYING. 



37 



to either the principles of Nature or of Art, or of practising their development, it 
then becomes more difficult to draw from Nature; and the Student is mortified 
to find how defective his own direct imitation of her is, as compared with his 
Copies of works of Art where the hand, without knowledge, has succeeded in 
gaining a kind of resemblance of her by a second-hand mimicry- The powerful 
conviction of this difference often represses all the hope of ultimate success in 
depicting Nature ; and, disappointed and annoyed, the Student returns again to 
his former pursuit, unable to summon courage for the task he sees before him, 
precisely because his too great devotion to Copying, without study, has increased 
the difficulty of relying on himself, which he must do when he goes to Nature : 
his difficulties have been thus aggravated in a ten-fold degree by the very practice 
which, properly followed, should have tended to diminish, if not to remove them 
altogether. His ability to copy with ease and tolerable accuracy has led him to 
believe himself to be in possession of more talent than he really has ; and he 
does not discover how greatly he has over-estimated his powers, till Nature puts 
them to the test. 

As it is more easy to follow what another has done than to create for them- 
selves, Students, both professional and amateur, are apt to devote themselves so 
entirely to copying, as to find it difficult to rid themselves of the trammels in which 
they have thus become involved. Instead of copying, to this degree, Drawing 
from Memory should be frequently practised. This gradually brings the Student 
within sight of that object which formerly appeared so distant, namely, the ability 
to produce an original Drawing; and his ardour increases with his increasing 
power. He finds himself following his own thoughts, his own way ; and thus he 
loosens his fetters, and finally disengages himself from them altogether, and takes 
less and less pleasure in Copying, because he can act for himself. His power both 
to combine, and to create, increases ; and, last of all, he looks only for hints from 
others to assist him in the delineation of any given subject from Nature, finding 
himself possessed of the power which he had so long envied and emulated in others. 

This is precisely such exercise as belongs to other branches of knowledge. 
We first learn the ideas of others by reading ; when those ideas are perfectly 
understood and well impressed on the memory, we express them in our own way, 
always adhering to the principles of the language used, until both the ideas and 
the language conveying them become equally original. 



38 



ON COPYING 



Were language itself invested with the imaginary difficulties which, to the 
uninstructed, appear to encompass Art, how many would be able even to write a 
letter ? What is this but an original production, resulting from a knowledge of 
language and the principles of composition ? 

Though some Examples of characteristic outline are given in this Work, it is 
not pretended to give all that may be useful or necessary, either for this or any 
other subject, in the various stages of the Student's progress. He must look for 
them elsewhere, — and here only for a guide to their use. He will most probably 
find what he needs either in my Lithographic Examples, already before the public, 
or, perhaps, in his Tutor's portfolio. 

Before the eye can become accurate, or the hand firm, some mechanical con- 
trivance is requisite, particularly in the outset, to aid the learner in determining 
the relative situation of the parts, and the direction of the principal lines. It is a 
good method, and perhaps one of the best, to draw diagonal lines, from opposite 
corners, across the model, and the like on the paper on which the copy is to be 
made. By this the Student will discover that object, or the part of it, the nearest 




to the centre of the subject, from which he should commence, gradually attaching 
the other objects on all sides, until the subject fills the paper to its limits. The 
diagonal lines will assist very much in showing the relative heights and sizes of 
the objects. By such contrivances, the necessity for much erasing is avoided,— a 
thing often found disheartening to beginners. It is a common practice, however, 
to begin at one corner of the subject, and work to the one opposite ; and the 
inevitable consequence is, that when nearly all has been drawn in, it is found that 
the parts, both individually and collectively, are either too large or too small, 
and that all must be erased. The same disasters result from beginning at various 



ON COPYING 



39 



parts ; it is found equally difficult to determine separately the size of each, both 
with relation to each other, and to the given limits of the whole subject; but by 
adopting the means above recommended, the Student, from the first, will obtain 
some distinct idea of the approaches he is making towards correctness. When 
practice has rendered these and similar contrivances no longer necessary, it 
is desirable that Copies should be made smaller or larger than the Original, 
to exercise the Student in judging of the proportions of objects, and to enable him 
so to adjust them to each other as to explain their relative magnitude. Without 
this power to explain objects in their proper and relative proportions, he could do 
little when drawing from Nature ; and every lesson he learns should tend, directly 
or indirectly, to that all-important object. He should make it his business to learn 
from Copies those principles, which will enable him justly and fully to appreciate 
her varied beauties, and that practice in the use of the materials of Art, which 
will enable him to depict them correctly and vividly. 



CHAPTER V. 



ON FOLIAGE. 

■"FOLIAGE is a feature in Landscape so very striking, that we can scarcely 
J- say we possess Landscape without it ; and those who intend to follow 

■ 

that department of Art, must look on the study of Foliage as of the first 
importance. 

Owing to the difficulties apparently belonging to the truthful imitation 
of Foliage, very many are deterred from attempting it at all; and hitherto, 
though the Public have had many examples of Trees placed before them, no 
practical system of studying them has ever yet, as far as I am aware, been 
presented or explained. Yet this is the more demanded, because Trees, except 
in their Stems and leading Branches, do not stand before the spectator as objects 
so completely definable as most others, nor so much within the reach of the 
materials of Art : their peculiar qualities only can be attempted, — their height, 
their flexibility, their roundness, &c. ; they cannot, in their forms, be copied with 
rigid accuracy : and for these reasons, the skill acquired in the practice of 
drawing other objects does not apply to them. Hence arises the necessity for 
studying, in regard to them, another application of the means of Art to their 
representation. 

When the importance of Trees in Landscape is considered — how their 
infinitely varied and graceful forms, separate and combined, and their colours, con- 
tribute to augment, or, by contrast, to set off, other combinations— how all that 
is lovely in the face of Nature, or grateful in her brighter seasons, is associated 
with Foliage— and how much command the Artist has over it in every com- 
position of Landscape, in the arrangement of Trees collectively, and over 
their forms individually— how much range they afford his fancy,— it will readily 
be admitted that they demand his best and most strenuous efforts, to obtain the 



ON FOLIAGE. 



41 



mastery over what may be truly called the best and most tractable auxiliary of 
the Landscape Painter.* 

Perhaps, to the difficulty of obtaining excellence in Foliage by such an 
imitation as readily conveys to the mind the likeness of other objects, and to its 
appearing to be so little within the reach of those rules which guide us in the 
accomplishment of other things, may be ascribed the commonly received notion, 
that to depict Trees well, depends more on the Artist's genius than on any rules 
which could be laid down ; the more so, because the lines from the Chalk, or 
Pencil, seem less appropriate to the delineation of Foliage than to most other 
things ; whereas, when well employed upon the perfect knowledge of it, they 
afford the most favourable means of giving the forms, the details, and the 
general characteristics of Trees, with great truth and freedom. 

In this work the Student will not find Examples of all the rich variety of 
Trees adorning the Park or Forest, and of all that are available in landscape 
composition. This would be unnecessary ; he is never called upon to substitute 
botanical delineation for pictorial effect. In drawing from Nature he is usually 
too far removed from Trees, even the nearest, to be aware of any delicate 
minutiae; he can only trace the more obvious and broader distinctions, such as 

if * 

exist between the Beech and the Elm, or the Elm and the Oak, &c. It is not 
his purpose to distinguish between Trees that are much like each other; 
he is not a painter of leaves in detail ; but deals with the masses, the common 
forms, and their great distinguishing features : and would but waste his time 
in prosecuting a study more within the province of the Botanist or the Gardener, 
than the Painter* 

The remarks that have been previously made on " The Use of the Chalk, or 
Pencil/* are peculiarly applicable to their employment in the delineation of Foliage 
and Herbage, 

When setting out, the attention of all Students is more or less directed to 
the operations of the instrument in their hands : they watch the lines made by 

* In striking out a new track, all are apt to cling too tenaciously to ideas originating with them- 
selves; and if my Header should think that T have fallen into this error, and, in the yet untrodden patli 
here pointed out, have advanced new views which may not appear to him to be always well founded* I 
invite him to carry these considerations to Nature, and test their correctness or incorrectness there ; and 
to accept or reject them, according as they shall be found to be consistent with, or contradicted by, her. 



42 



ON FOLIAGE. 



the Chalk, or Pencil, instead of the effect produced by them, as if the imitation of 
Nature existed in them abstractedly. Hence some persons labour with the utmost 
patience to copy exactly, choosing a Line Engraving as the most captivating model ; 
imitating every line in it — striving to produce softness and smoothness ; conclud- 
ing that in so doing they are making a highly-finished drawing (such as Plate 15) : 
while others, not disposed to such labour, endeavour to effect their object with 
broader strokes (such as in Plate 14), and apologise for their want of patience, by 
giving the preference to what they denominate a bold sketch. Still all are looking 
to the means, and call a drawing " slight," or " highly-finished," according to the 
quantity of labour bestowed, — the number of lines serving as the index. This is 
very erroneous ; for the labour, little or much, may have been mis-applied, as both 
the Examples referred to clearly testify. 

In neither of them is there the least evidence of thought ; the one displays 
rashness, the other inanity. At first sight, one of them may please by a semblance 
of power ; but it is a power of the fingers, not of the mind ; it is dexterity without 
truth or judgment ; it is power mis-applied. The other lias not even this low 
recommendation ; the only idea that it forcibly impresses on the mind is that of 
time wasted. As a production of Art it is purposeless, idealess, and powerless. 
There is neither distinct form nor character in any one object it contains. The 
only utility of such examples consists in their exhibition of a collection of errors 
and deformities to be avoided. In neither can we avoid noticing the means 
employed, which are the more peculiarly obtrusive, because there is nothing else 
offered to the attention. 

The Student must bear in mind what has already been observed, that the 
Chalk or Pencil produces its effect by a line for the Forms of objects, and by 
multiplied lines for the Shade ; and also that every line is, in fact, a contradiction 
of Nature, however true to her it may be in effect. 

No object in Nature has a line round it, which the Chalk or Pencil must 
necessarily give, to exhibit the shape of any object ; neither are the shades on any 
object m Nature made up of a multitude of lines : here, then, are the contradic- 
tions which the mind must be made to lose sight of in all cases ; but above all in 
Foliage. It is not in the outline alone, but in the outline viewed in connexion 
with the space it contains, that we acknowledge a likeness, as in the three first 
Examples on the opposite page ; for if they were deprived of the outline by being 



ON FOLIAGE. 






cut out, we still should have as clear an idea of their different forms : and so of 
all solid and unbroken forms. These remarks, however, do not apply to Foliage, 

and we shall presently see 
why. To be sensible of the 
rotundity of objects, we must 
also be able to apply Shade 
to them, so that we may 
know the nature of the sur- 
face as well as the Form. 
The addition of the Shade is also suggestive of the presence of Light. Thus, 
then, with the Chalk or Pencil, we may convey ideas of Form, and Light-and- 
Shade ; and to these may be added the character of the surface. 

Already instructions have been given in reference to the drawing of Forms ; 
and now we have to learn what are the properties of Shades, and how they may 
be represented. In the first place, they are even— alike in depth of colour every- 
where ; or if they be darker in one part than in another, 
it is by imperceptible gradation from lighter to darker, and 
not by sudden transition. In the second place, Shade is 
retiring ; that is, it appears to recede. In the Example «, 
the Shade, as there represented, is even : and whether it 
be desirable to produce it by lines at all, or by lines in any 
direction, it still ought to be even ; so far this is one step 
towards being like Nature. It must now be made to 
appear as if it retired, like Example b ; that is, it must 
suggest to the mind that idea. In Example a the Shade 
appears to lie on the surface of the paper ; but in Ex- 
ample b, it appears to sink below it : here, then, are the 
two distinguishing facts with regard to Shade, irrespective 
of its depth. We must experience sensations analogous to those we receive from 
Nature, ere we can pronounce the imitation true. In Nature we can put our 
hands into the Shades, but we put them upon the Lights. 

The light, or illuminated parts of objects, are the most attractive, in 
proportion to their brightness ; and it is in the light parts of objects that 
we see their character and peculiarities. When an object, or any part of it, is 





44 



ON FOLIAGE. 



obscured by shade, it is then difficult for the eye, without an effort, to clearly dis- 
tinguish it ; and as the light parts serve to make those in shade understood, the eye 
refuses to labour unnecessarily on the shades. For these reasons it is important 
to bear in mind, that as in Nature it is the illumined parts of objects which 
attract our attention, so must they be attractive in Art. On this consideration, — 
the attraction of all bright parts of objects, — hinges one of the great difficulties to 
be overcome. Light parts, also, must appear to come forward in contradistinction 
to Shades ; and unless these effects be produced in all cases, nothing satisfactory 
is done. 

We will consider the Lights and Shades separately, beginning with the 
Shade. In imitating Nature, it is always desirable that the operations of Art 
should, if possible, follow her course; but with the Chalk or Pencil this is 
impossible. Nature puts on the Light and leaves the Shade ; whereas the Chalk 
or Pencil puts on the Shade, and leaves the Light (the white paper). Consequently 
as the Form of an object, being obtained by an outline, requires less labour and 
less evidence of material than the Shades, the attention of the Student is 
attracted to the Shade, and the Light is partially or altogether forgotten. Thus 
the influence of Art with the Chalk or Pencil is perpetually liable to be lost, 
because its operations are directly the reverse of Nature. 

While, therefore, the hand is busy in putting on the Shades, the eye should 
watch the influence of its operations on the Lights ; for, without Shade, the 
white paper is not Light, wanting the contrast of shade, which alone can make it 
appear luminous and attractive. We shall now endeavour to prove and exemplify 
these positions, by the attempt to draw a Tree, or, what will answer the same 
purpose, a part of one. 

In the first place, then, it is important to know what belongs to Foliage 
generally, in order that what constitutes the peculiarities of each Tree may be the 
more easily superadded. 

The shaded sides of Trees are gradually darker from the top towards the 
bottom, and from the extremities on either side to the centre, not by any sudden 
and violent transition, but by imperceptible gradation. 

In depicting Foliage it is best to begin with the Shades and with horizontal 
lines, passing the Pencil from right to left, and from left to right, leaning rather 
more heavily on those lines passing from left to right, as the surer way of keeping 



ON FOLIAGE. 



45 



them horizontal, making them also of equal length and breadth, and of equal 
strength, so that the entire tone of colour may be equal, as in Example 6, Plate 6 ; 
and in passing downwards, so terminating them as to leave crooked forms, as 
shown separately in Example 2. This is a very important part of the operation. 

When sets of lines can with certainty be placed on the paper in this 
manner, the Student should unite them to each other, so as to form a body of 
Shade of any required quantity and intensity. In doing this, he must particularly 
observe to make each set of lines, as well as each individual line, of the same 
strength, so as to preserve the most perfect evenness in the Shade ; giving to each 
set of lines also variety of form and size, and never allowing them to be seen 
following each other, as in Examples 3 and 5, but sometimes barely attaching, and 
sometimes separating, so that numerous interstices may be left, of various sizes. 
The sets of lines must, at the same time, be so united as to prevent the eye, as 
much as possible, from detecting their unnatural forms, or their number. See, 
again, Example 6. 

The principal points to be remembered with respect to Shade in Foliage, may 
be thus summed up : — 

1st. The general evenness of the Shade. This is dependent on each 

line, and each set of lines, being of equal strength. 
2nd. Making the Shade gradually darker towards the centre, and 

towards the lower part. 
3rd. Leaving numerous insterstices, 

4th. In uniting the sets of lines, so that neither their precise forms 
nor their number may be apparent. 
The inclination of the sets of lines must be towards the left, on the left hand 
side, at d, of the general mass of Shade ; 



and towards the right, on the right hand 
side, at e, of the mass ; each set of lines 
as they approach the middle of the mass, 
at c, gradually becoming less oblique. 
These are important considera- 




tions which must be remembered, and carried out with every set of lines. 

To carry into effect the preceding instructions, which are in accordance with 
what we observe in Nature, it would hardly seem possible to choose any 



46 ON FOLIAGE. 

instruments of Art more inappropriate than the Chalk or Pencil; the glaring 
dissimilarity to Nature presented by the shape of each set of lines separately, 
is even repulsive, and so totally unlike anything we see in Foliage, that if it were 
not from the convictions of our judgment, we could never suppose we had ad- 
vanced one step towards an imitation of Nature. 

This may be sufficient to convince the Student how little is to be obtained from 
any inherent properties in the materials or the instruments of Art, be they what 
they may ; and how indispensably necessary it is to have a clear idea of what is to 
be effected at every step, that he may surmount the difficulties which attend 
every stage of his work, and know not only how, but when to grapple with them. 

The lines should be kept at regular distances from each other, not so as to 
show alternately light spaces of white paper and dark lines of the Pencil, but so 
as to be even, and still show that the shade has been produced by lines. On 
this depends the possibility of making the shaded parts of Foliage appear semi- 
transparent ; for if the lines be placed so close together as to be no longer 
separately visible, this effect, as well as all appearance of leafing, is entirely lost 
(see the Shades in the Trees of Plate 15) ; and if they be too widely separated, 
they will become too obvious, and not only will they not look like shade, but 
their own positive dissimilarity to Foliage will become too apparent to be 
tolerable, as in Plate 14. 

Before proceeding farther, it will be requisite to show how the Shaded side of 
Foliage is commonly done, and the natural consequences of it (see Example 3, 
Plate 6). Here all the strokes slope from right to left, falsely giving the idea of 
some sloping surface ; they are made darkest at one end, and joined at the other, 
effectually preventing the shade from being even ; they are wrong individually, and 
more so collectively, by being passed over each other at the extremities. The 
form of each set is obvious, and all their faults are increased and multiplied. So 
also are those of Example 4, where the lines, though horizontal, are, from being 
unequal in colour, and at various distances, still quite as wrong as those seen 
in Example 3, if not altogether from the same causes. Again, in Example 5, 
each set is following the other, and so representing a flat surface in shade, not 
an even shade over an irregular object. 

We come now to consider the outline, its peculiarities, properties, and effects. 
By the outline, the peculiar character of the Tree is pourtrayed in the form of 



ON FOLIAGE. 



47 



the leaf; but though this characteristic outline may give the form of the leaf, 
it yet cannot pour tray all the leaves. By the Examples given below we may see 
that more than a certain quantity is not required. The outlines give us a clear 
idea, not only of there being leaves where they are 
thus positively represented, but we have also an jz J ~~*^y ^T? 



impression on our minds of the existence of leaves 




in the wlii to paper included within these outlines. <?**s, 
If that impression be clearly conveyed to the mind ^yip r ; v3 
by the general representation, any attempt to ^'^f./^W 1 
depict leaves individually would be unnecessary, 
nay, more, it would be useless. The Artist is not 
a painter of leaves of Trees, but of their broader 
and more general features; he cannot therefore 
pretend to depict them precisely and minutely, s> j Jh^7 
because he cannot see them either on the masses of <^ ^ 
Light or of Shade. In the body of the light parts, 
the leaves are overlapping, and breaking the out- 
line of each other, so that the eye cannot follow them ; and to the same circum- 
stances, in the shade, obscurity is added, rendering the shaded parts of all Trees 
so very similar, that looking at some isolated portion of the shaded part of any 
one, it would be difficult to name it. 

It is the peculiar form of the leaf of a Tree which must suggest the character 
of the outline to be adopted : whether it is to be irregular, like the Oak ; round, 
like the Elm ; or long and oval, like the Ash. It may also be here remarked, that 
the folds, or masses of leaves, sometimes take the form of the leaf: in the Oak 
they are irregular; in the Elm, round; in the Ash, long and oval ; and in the 
Willow, of a still more elongated oval than the Ash. 

In Example 4, Plate 7, the forms of the leaves of the Ash, and the way 
in which they grow on the branch will be seen. The leaves are composed 
of two curved lines ; and the group radiates from a centre. 
If a line be drawn so as to touch the outer extremity of 
each leaf, we should have a large oval of this form ; by 
carefully preserving this general form, we obtain, in a great degree, expression 
of another characteristic of Foliage, — Flexibility. 




48 



ON FOLIAGE 



We come now to consider what kind of outline will best exhibit the form of 
the leaves, and their general arrangement in groups of an oval form. 

It is best, at first, to draw the general form of the groups of leaves, and 
their masses, with very light curved lines, according to the kind of Tree intended, 
as in Example 1, Plate 6* Whilst an effort is afterwards made to pouvtray the leaf 
by the characteristic outline, the general form of these masses serves to guide the 
hand in obtaining the general roundness, and the mind has, consequently, less to 
claim its attention at each step. 

When Foliage is first traced by a very light characteristic outline, like 
Example 7, Plate 6 — a method frequently employed, and when, in completing 
the Tree, it is found necessary to make the outline darker, the first cannot be 
rubbed out entirely, for then it might as well not have been drawn ; and it being 
too tedious to follow exactly the first line, so as to make it as dark as required, a 
fresh outline is necessarily made, which, by sometimes doubling the line first 
made, and sometimes accidentally agreeing with it, causes both to be wrong, 
though each separately might have been right; the one effectually defeats the 
intention of the other, and both are spoiled. 

When the general forms are traced as recommended, the characteristic 
outline may be added ; and this is best obtained, by drawing at first only those 
lines on which the emphasis is to be laid (as in Example 7, Plate 7) : these 
are all the upper lines of each leaf; and they should be always drawn from the 
centre of the Tree — where they should be light — towards the extremity, where 
they should be leaned on heavily, and be there made darker, and more emphatic. 
Unless the articulation be gained on the proper line, and also on the right part of it 
(the extreme end outwards, as at a a a a), it is quite impossible either to draw the 
leaves of a Tree, or any fold of it, of their true form, or to turn them in their 
natural position, especially on the right hand side of the Tree, Those who are 
not accustomed to place lines in these directions are always embarrassed ; and 
often, when attempting the practice of turning them on the right-hand side, 
feel as if they were drawing left-handed, though, so far from it, it is allowing 
the hand its most natural motion. 

These lines should be long practised in this way, singly ; and it is desirable, 
whether drawing those on the right, or those on the left, to commence with the 
lines in an upward direction, as those at a and e, in the Example on the opposite 




•> 



/ 




Ex. I 





fir 3 






■ # 



— - ' ^ 



L I V 





4 



(■MM 





r 



^4 




4 f 



r 

> I 



\ 



\ i 



3# ttf 



At/* 



Ptote 6 



£ccJ 




Plate 7 



Fx 6 



ON FOLIAGE. 



49 



page, so as to form, at first, the groups, like c c, and afterwards bending down- 
wards in the manner of d. They should also be drawn of various sizes, gra- 
dually increasing, so that the power may be acquired 

of drawing them perfectly, and with facility, either X 

^^^^^^ ^^£^ 

by the motion of the fingers and wrist, or of the arm 
from the elbow and shoulder. 

The appearance of Flexibility in the leaves con- 
tributes much to give the idea of roundness in the 
individual folds of a Tree ; and this is obtained by 





making the first lines incline a little upwards, and " S^//' 
sloping them more as they gradually proceed down- ^ ^ V \ N zz— & 

wards, making them, at last, perpendicular, where the * U /y* y/' 
true shape of the leaf would be more clearly seen ; 

the other leaves being seen in perspective, and overlapping each other wholly or 
partially, cannot, of course, be seen so plainly. Though no leaf be individually 
and entirely drawn, or attempted to be drawn, so much is done as to suggest the 
rest, and the eye and the mind are better satisfied. 

The emphasis being secured on the strokes outwards, they are united by 
merely keeping the Pencil on the paper till it reaches the point, whence again the 
stroke starts outwards, and the outline is made complete, as in Example 2, Plate 7. 
The result thus obtained is more natural than that seen in Example 1,* where 
the emphasis being laid on the line passing inwards, and increased on the ex- 
treme end inwards, as shown at a «, in Example 6, it is impossible to turn round 
either naturally or freely; and the leaves on the right hand side of the Tree 
appear to turn upwards, whilst those of the left turn downwards. What is thus 
done is done badly, awkwardly, and with great effort; the leaves are neither 
natural in their shapes, nor in their position on the branches; and, besides, 
they do not seem pliant. The defects of this method may be more evident on 
examining Example 6 ; where a portion of the character of Example 1 is drawn 
at large, with the lines extended by a paler colour, so as to show that if such as 
are drawn in Example 1 were continued, they would never unite in such a way 
as to give the true form of a leaf; they also fail to give the least idea of the 
proper attachment of leaves to a branch. 

* This is the most prevalent and erroneous mode of drawing Foliage, and I notice it for those reasons. 



50 



ON FOLIAGE. 



The contrast between these Examples is striking. The very defects and 
errors of Example 1, are rendered more conspicuous by the effort which has been 
made to turn round on the right-hand side. It is evident that this must be done 
with great difficulty ; and that it is quite impossible by such means to give the 
least likeness to Nature in the form of the leaf, or to gain the least appearance 
either of roundness or Flexibility. Though, in any case, it would be a waste of 
time to delineate the shape of leaves of Trees with precise exactness ; still the 
shape must be so far obtained, that the mind may have a perfect cognizance of 
the whole truth, from the amount of truth exhibited. 

Again, in the illumined masses of Trees, to which we principally confine 
the representation of the leaves, we are conscious of their roundness from 
their contrast with the shade, where they appear almost flat, because shade 
prevents our seeing the roundness of the masses of leaves, or folds, as they are 
called; and the expression of roundness depends on the arrangement of the 
outline. 

By examining Example 2, Plate 7, it will be seen that the paper encompassed 
by the outline appears round, and very different from Example 1, of the same 
Plate ; because each turn of the lines on the right hand side of Example 2 cor- 
responds and appears to be connected with, and to become the counterpart of, 
those on the left hand side, their connexion being carried on by the imagination, 
in such a manner as is shown by the dotted lines at the left hand and lower 
corner of the Example at a. No such appearance of rotundity is to be seen in 
Example 1, one of the most common methods employed; on the contrary, the 
whole appears perfectly flat. 

There is another mode by which Flexibility may be still more perfectly 
expressed in the outline, and this is by occasionally separating the lines which 
represent the groups of leaves, and doing only just so much as may assist 
the imagination to perfectly comprehend the general form, without depict- 
ing it entire. 

The Examples on the opposite page will make this understood. In one 
we have a continuous and unbroken line, exhibiting indeed the character of 
the Tree, and the groups of leaves, but scarcely indicating any Flexibility. In 
the other, the groups being separated by spaces, as at a a, a more forcible 
expression of Flexibility is thus obtained. 



ON FOLIAGE. 



To the production of the characteristic outline of Foliage there are four 
considerations to be borne in mind : — 

1st. The form of the leaves, and their radiation in groups. 
2nd. The emphasis on each leaf at the outer extremity. 
3rd. Their arrangement, so that the portion of space they inclose may 
appear rotund. 

4th. The Flexibility ; which first depends on the general curved form 
of each group of leaves ; and secondly, on these groups being 
separated occasionally, and not represented by one continuous and 
unbroken line. 

The Outline, therefore, as well as the Shade, must be practised separately, 
until the hand can execute each with facility and certainty. The Student must 
observe that he is not to imitate his examples by servilely copying them ; but 
must endeavour to express 
their character and mean- 
ing as preparatory to an 
imitation of what he will 
find in Nature. In this 
manner he must practice 
within doors, before he at- 
tempts to draw from Na- 
ture out-of-doors. 

When the Student has 
made himself master of the Outline and the Shade, by practising them sepa- 
rately, and in the manner which I have endeavoured to explain, he should 
next proceed to attach them to each other. If each separately be right, and 
effect its purpose truly, they will, in connexion, aid and augment the merits 
of each other. 

In combining the Outline and Shade, the principal points to be considered 
are the position of the characteristic Outline, and its effect upon the Shade. 

This characteristic Outline requires to be placed where we most plainly see 
the leaves of the trees in Nature,— namely, on the extreme and outer edge, either 
of the Light or Dark side, where it separates from the sky, or any other object; and 
on the extreme edge of the masses of leaves in Light, where they separate from 




52 



ON FOLIAGE. 



the Shade. The retirement of the Shade depends on the Outline, represent- 
ing the leaves, being placed immediately on its edge, and being made a little darker 
than the Shade ; and thus we shall have the same effect as has already been 
spoken of in page 43. Looking at Example 3, Plate 7, the Shade there, from 
being alone, lies on the paper, and appears to come forward, and all that is seen is a 
connected set of horizontal lines without meaning ; and the eye also sees their form, 
which is unnatural, but inevitable. In Example 5, however, where the outline is 
attached to the Shade, the paper representing the Lights appears to come forward, 
and the Shade to retire. The Shade, here, appears to sink below the surface of 
the paper, and gives the idea of a space between, and beyond the surrounding 
folds, into which it would seem possible to pass ; and this retirement of the Shade 
acts again on the Lights, by making them appear proportionably nearer, more 
brilliant, and more attractive : here, in the imitation, we are attracted by those 
parts which we are attracted by in Nature, namely, the Lights; and the atten- 
tion which was given to the Shade in Example 3, is given to the Lights in 
Example 5. 

The general roundness of the Tree depends on the Outline being made tender 
at the top and at the extremities, and becoming gradually darker, and exhibiting 
the leaves larger, towards the middle and lower part of the Tree ; and displaying 
the greatest degree of strength on the Foliage of the nearest branches, that is, on 
those which come forward towards the spectator, where the leaves would, of 
course, be more plainly seen. In proof of these positions, see Example 8, Plate 7, in 
which the instructions so far given have been carried out. If this Example be 
preferred to Example 9, of the same Plate, that preference can be explained and 
justified. We can there trace effects to their causes ; we can see the appliances 
of Art based on a knowledge of certain forms and properties of Foliage. In 
Example 9 the erroneous outline, such as Example 1, has here been applied to 
Shade falsely done, like Example 3, Plate 6 ; each is wrong separately, and when 
combined the errors are still more obvious : every important consideration has 
been neglected. 

In Example 9, sometimes the Outline is seen on the edge of the Shade, and 
sometimes passing beyond, or lost in confusion amongst it, — now with leaves that 
are oval, then round, — now angular and small, the next instance large and 
pointed ; and thus are drawn forms of every size and kind, each contradicting 



ON FOLIAGE. 53 

the other, and none perhaps agreeing with Nature, evidently showing that there 
was no contemplated intention, and no design when setting out. All the hopes 
and expectations were confined to seeing how it would look when done : and 
what could be expected from the effect of so many strokes, heaped on each 
other, or so promiscuously connected, but a mass of confusion ? Here has been 
no adaptation of means to an end. 

Nothing can be more displeasing to the eye, or more repulsive to a correct 
judgment, than contradictions like these. Where is the roundness,— where the 
flexibility of the Foliage ? Where the evenness of the Shade ?— and does it retire 
as it ought ? Where is there any truth of Nature displayed ? Here the mecha- 
nism is most evident; every stroke may be counted, or nearly so. Can it be 
said that Nature is the better imitated in consequence ? And yet in this, or the 
like manner, thousands attempt to draw Trees. In Example 8, the means em- 
ployed are much less obvious ; and to count the strokes, individually, would be 
difficult, if not impossible. Is the imitation, therefore, less true to Nature? 
The answer in this, as in the former case, must be— No. The strokes, without 
regard to what they are intended to express, should never be distinctly apparent ; 
for in proportion as the means used, become evident, the likeness to Nature 
becomes less and less, and the poverty of the imitation more apparent. A com- 
parison of these Examples may serve to show that there is no inherent merit in 
the materials: the same materials have been employed in both, and yet how 
different is the effect of each on the mind! 

The Student must be reminded to practice from Memory ; and he should 
have recourse to the original, merely that, by comparison, he may satisfy himself 
that he has followed the same principles, and, as effectually, as they are there 
illustrated. This practice from Memory is a sine qud non in drawing Trees, 
because the mechanism of the model is not, or ought not to be seen; and 
because, in copying Trees from a Drawing, it is no more necessary to have 
exactly the same number of strokes, than in drawing from Nature to give the 
exact number of leaves on an individual tree. What is wanted is, that it should 
distinctly convey the idea of there being few, or many leaves, and of what kind. 

Although it has been asserted that all that is required in the Shade is even- 
ness of colour, and that no further approach to Nature need there be attempted, 
still if the Student be sufficiently skilled to do what has already been put 



54 



ON FOLIAGE. 



• 




before him, he will find that, by another adaptation of the lines on the 
Shades (such as in the annexed Example), he may obtain a greater likeness 
of Nature. He will here see that the lines are not horizontal, as he was first 

taught to make them, but that each 
separate line has a different inclina- 
tion, so as to represent the various 
positions of the leaves in Shade, while 
the evenness of the Shade is still rigidly 
preserved. To do this well requires 
some practice ; and it should not by 
any means be attempted until the 
previous and more simple process, 
already detailed, be well learned. 
When attempting this, the kind of 
Tree must be first considered— whether it has broad or narrow, long or short, 
leaves ; and appropriate lines must accordingly be adopted and distributed, as in 
Examples 1 and 2, Plate 8, where it will be seen that the instructions already 
given have been strictly attended to. One of the most important advantages to 
be gained by the adoption of this method is, that as the means by which the 
desired end is effected are less distinctly perceptible, the attention of the spec- 
tator is more exclusively confined to the character and spirit of the imitation. 

There are also other important 
advantages attached to this method. '« 
By thus giving the lines every variety 
of inclination, they are perpetually 
presented at right angles, or nearly 
so, with the outline of the illumined 
folds of the Tree, as at a a a a; and 
by these means so much character 
is at once gained on the edges or 
extremities, that if a representation 
of the Oak be intended, a Charac- 
teristic Outline will hardly be required, 
character may not be so nearly, nor so exactly given, as that of the Oak,— very 




For any other Tree, — although its 



ON FOLIAGE. 



55 




trifling additions will change the present angular forms into such as are more oval, 
like the leaves of the Ash; or the character may be at once obtained by 
adopting longer and thinner lines for the Shade. 

By these means, we also get rid of a great defect which attends the mode of 
placing the lines of the Shade horizontally, as explained in pages 44 and 45 ; for 

though character in some degree be thus 

- 

%. - given to the sides of the folds, as at a a, it 

\t6? is never given to their lower parts, b b, 

where, in Nature, the leaves are most 
plainly seen. The addition of a Character- 
istic Outline to the defective parts is con- 
sequently imperative ; but as this cannot 
be perfectly adjusted to the Shade, some 

WW 

bare space is inevitably left between the Shade and the Outline, 

By the method which 1 have explained, the character of the Tree is marked 
on the extremities of the shaded side, so that there also a definite Outline is 
dispensed with ; and this is done 
by simply indicating the general 
form of the leaves, by such lines 
as a a, with the same broad point 
of the Chalk or Pencil, as was 
employed for the Shade. By these 
means, the character is added to 
the body of Shade, as at b b at 
the extremities; while both the 
Character and Shade unite and 
harmonise in such a way as to 

produce a nearer likeness to Nature. This may be seen by comparing Example 
2, Plate 9, with Example 7, Plate 6. The Student, by carefully examining the 
branches of the Oak and Ash, in Plate 9, and comparing them in this their com- 
plete state, with their first stage, as shown in Plate 8, will perceive how very little 
has been added, in the shape of Outline, on the extremities of the folds in Light 
where they separate from the Shade, or on the extremities of the Shade where 
they would separate from the sky, or any other object beyond them. By an 




56 



ON FOLIAGE. 



attentive examination he will also not fail to discover where, and to what extent, 
additions have been made, because the Examples in Plate 9 are those of Plate 8 
completed* 

Plates 8 and 9 are not only exemplifications of the methods pointed out, but 
also evidences of their efficiency. Examples 1 and % of Plate 8, are, respectively, 
preparations for an Oak and an Ash, or a portion of each, the Shade only being 
done, yet with all its properties ; so that in this respect there may be no necessity 
for subsequent additions. Were the eye only to determine, it could find no- 
thing satisfactory in either of these Examples, in their first stage, but rather 
the reverse. It is the mind, however, which in this stage of the drawing is 
the judge ; and being enabled, from previously acquired knowledge, to perceive 
the truth amidst the apparent contradictions and deformities, it decides that what 
has been done so far is right. In Plate 9 these same preparations of Shade have 
the Characteristic Outline belonging to each attached. So great is now the change 
— so much more is there of likeness to Nature — so little to be traced of the 
unnatural and repulsive forms of the sets of lines composing the Shades — indeed, 
so great is the change in all respects, — that it is scarcely possible to believe that 
the first stages of these Examples were, or ever could have been, precisely those of 
Examples 1 and 2, in Plate 8, Yet such they were. If the Student be satisfied 
with the results, let him remember that every step has been guided by knowledge ; 
that what has been done was not fortuitously done, but premeditated and pre- 
determined ; not suggested by the eye or the feelings accidentally, during the 
progress of the work, but by a determination of the judgment to adapt the powers 
of the instrument employed to the exhibition of a series of truths, from a 
conviction that the eye, the intellect, and the feelings could only be gratified by 
the contemplation of what is true. 

In Plate 9 another Example of the effects of the Outline is given, in the Stem 
of the Tree, where the Example 3 of Plate 8, has been finished by its addition ; 
and its importance and its power will be felt by comparing this Example in its 
different states. Should this be not enough to produce conviction, the Student 
need only turn to Example 4, Plate 8, where he will find that that which appears 
to have neither definite shape nor meaning in the state he there sees it, may be 
made to assume any form. There, much more of the first state is left obvious 
than is desirable, but it is required for the Student's information. 



ON FOLIAGE 



57 



Jf, in placing on the paper the strokes for the Shade, the Student should find 
that they are too far asunder (which is a much less fault than being too close, 
whether in Skies or Distances), he has only to fill in the interstices to make a 
tone of colour as delicate as occasion may require, even to perfect flatness. 

Besides the roundness of the folds of Trees, there is another marked feature 
to be observed, — the general roundness. The mode of expressing this is also 
determined by reference to Nature. As a Tree is a circular object, to a spectator 
standing in front of it, the middle portion of the circumference is nearer than the 
sides ; and as it is a tall object, the lower part is nearer than the upper ; and all 
the gradations are to be found between the two extremes in the intervals. To 
express then, in some degree, these properties, the leaves should be drawn 
gradually larger from the top towards the bottom, and from the extremities 
towards the centre. (See the various Examples of Trees.) To complete this 
eifect of roundness in the general form, the Stems and Branches must be added ; 
to the study of which the Student will now be led. 

In concluding this part of the subject, it is necessary to observe, that the 
Leaves of Trees appear more abundant on the light side of a Tree than on 
the dark side ; for the contrast between its local colour, and that of any 
bright object behind it, such as the sky, being less on the light than on the dark 
side, the interstices are not so evident in the one place as in the other. 



1 



CHAPTER VI. 



ON STEMS AND BRANCHES. 

m H E properties common to the Stems and Branches of most Trees are the 
J- following : — the Stems, from the root upwards, — and the Branches, from the 
point where they unite with the Stem, or with any Branch supporting them, — 
become gradually smaller ; the Brunches proceeding from the Stem, or from each 
other, are never so large as that part of the Stem or Branch whence they 
proceed ; the uppermost Branches approximate to the direction of the parent 
Stem ; and the others gradually form greater angles with it, as they grow lower 
down on it, till they eventually turn towards the ground : the same will be 
observed of the ramifications of the leading Branches. 

These observations are exemplified by an Avenue: the Branches on the 
side of the Tree which is turned inwards to the Avenue, being obstructed by 
those from the Tree opposite, shoot upwards (the lower ones more remarkably 
so) for the light indispensable to their growth, and thus form what is said to have 
given to the Architect the first idea of an Aisle (see Plate 10); whereas on the 
outside they are found to grow as above stated, — the lower Branches extending 
laterally, and the upper becoming more vertical, according to the height of their 
shoot from the parent Stem. These observations apply to the Oak, Elm, Ash, 
Birch, Beech, &c. 

The various Firs present, directly or indirectly, exceptions to this rule. The 
Scotch Fir has the Branches at top thrown out in a more horizontal direction ; 
thence, as they grow lower down, gradually bending towards the ground, to 
a degree commonly greater than in other Trees; though by obstruction the 
Branches of the Fir are altered in their growth, as well as others. The 
Larch, and its kind, have all their Branches at right angles with the Stem, 
or nearly so. 



ON STEMS AND BRANCHES. 



5 9 




The Branches shoot out all round the Stem, and the smaller Branches shoot 
from the greater in the same manner. By examining the Example here given, 

and Plate 10, it will be seen how this principle is 
carried into practice : those Branches, which grow 
on that part of the Stem turned towards the spec- 
tator, cross its outline, and are united to the sur- 
face; those on the sides are inserted on the out- 
line of the Stem or Branch to which they are 
attached ; while those growing on the unseen part of 
the Trunks appear to be cut off by its outline, and 
their insertion is therefore unseen. In drawing 
Stems and Branches, such lines must be adopted, 
whether straight or crooked, broad or thin, as will 
best express the character of the Bark. 
Much 

care is required to attach properly 
the Branches to the Trunk, and 
to each other. Not unfrequently 
this is done in the clumsy manner 
shown at c c, in Example 1, where 
the Branches at their shoot from 
the Stem appear swelled, and then 
suddenly and unnaturally become 
taper. The best and simplest way 
to affix the Branches to the Stem is 
by first drawing the lines for the 
Branches, so as to make well-defined 
angles with the Stem, and the same 
with the Branches, where they unite 
with each other, — as a a, in Example 
2; then by merely cutting off the 
extreme sharpness of the angles 
with curved lines, they become properly, because naturally, united. 

To attach the Stem properly to the ground, the outline on both sides of it must 




60 



OX STEMS AND BRANCHES 



be brought down to, and united with, the ground, as at b, in Example 2, in the 
same way that the Branches have been united with the Stem, and with each 
other; and the surface included within the outline should imperceptibly unite 
with the ground, as in Example 2, so as to leave no distinct termination. It 
is very important that this should be attended to, as the appearance of rotundity 
is greatly assisted by doing it properly. On referring to Example 1, it will be 
instantly seen that, however round the Stem might have been made to appear on 
its surface, the way in which it is cut by the straight line of the ground, would be 
in opposition to the idea of its rotundity. This mode, however, of attaching a 
Tree to the ground is by no means uncommon. 

Both Branches and Stems now require covering with the Bark ; and here 
it will be observed that, on the Stems at the Root, and on the leading Branches 
towards the Stem, the character of the Bark is more strongly marked than in 
the more remote ramifications. The Bark is more or less rough and cracked, 
according to the kind of Tree, or its age ; and in proportion as Trees grow older, 
the Bark is more deeply furrowed. Some have a very thin, smooth, and light 
Bark : of this kind is the Bark of the Beech and the Birch, which contrasts so 
beautifully with their Foliage. 

Before attempting to pourtray these appearances, the Student should observe 
that the Trunk and Branches of a Tree, being cylindrical, receive the light and 
shade as cylinders do ; that is, the brightest part is some little distance from the 
outline, on the light side, and the shade is darkest, at some distance from the 
outline on the shaded side, according to the direction of the light. See in illus- 
tration, the Beech Stems, Plate 10, and the cut at page 59. The peculiarities of 
all Trunks and Branches must be subject to these general considerations; although 
from the roughness of the Bark they are apt to escape notice. The lines chosen 
for representing the Bark must be made dark or light, broad or thin, according to 
its nature. See the Stems, Plate 11, the first stage of the Drawing, where, in 
addition to the considerations above-mentioned, it will be found that, on the 
shaded side, the lines are placed so near to each other as hardly to convey any 
idea of the character of the Bark, because the shade obscures the furrows. As no 
attempt is made to depict leaves in shade, so none need be made to depict the 
Bark in shade : indeed, as a general rule, it is better to give too little of the 
character of any object in shade, than too much. 



ON STEMS AND BRANCHES. 



(>1 




It has already been observed that the leaves of Trees are most plainly seen 
where the light separates from the shade. If the Student turn to Plate 5, he 
will there see that the character of the materials composing the building is most 
forcibly marked on the edges of the lights and shades, just where they separate 
from each other. The same observations equally apply to all cylindrical and 
rotund objects. For instance, in the Basket here 
given, the line of wickerwork, which lies on the limits 
of the light and shade, is most plainly seen ; and the 
others, as they gradually approach the light, or are 
obscured by shade, become less and less distinct, till 
in the lightest or the darkest part they are scarcely 
perceptible. As the Bark on the Stems of Trees is, in the same manner, most 
plainly seen where the light becomes blended with the shade, its character should 
be there marked most plainly, the lines being there made darkest, and gradually be- 
coming lighter towards the light. By these means, both the character of the Bark, 
and the roundness of the Stem, are at the same time most significantly expressed. 

For proof of this, and of the attractiveness of all light parts, compare 
Plate 11 with its finished state in Plate 12. It will be seen that the characteristic 
lines are of the highest service on the light parts, and that it is only there they 
are required, since the shades have not again been touched. In Plate 11 the 
light sides are bald and thin, unmeaning and unsatisfactory ; but by the addi- 
tion of such character as is given to them in Plate 12, they are made to look 
emphatic and dense, round and complete. 

An Example of the effect of this principle is to be found in the upper Hand, 
Plate L The Student will perceive, if he examine attentively, that just where the 
light falls into the shade, the lines employed to express the rotundity of the 
Fingers are there more distinctly marked and separated. So in Plate 4, imme- 
diately along the outline of the Deer, and along the line of the Back, and down 
the side of the Face, — on the confines of the light where it is merging into shade, 
— its hairy covering is the most evident : but in the shades, in both Plates, the 
lines indicative of the texture are hardly distinguishable. 

Were I, in this instance, calling attention to an Example of my own Draw- 
ing, the Student might perhaps suppose, that what has been pointed out was 
referable to some peculiarity in my style of Drawing ; but when these things are 



ON STEMS AND BRANCHES. 



found to exist in the works of others, and those the most distinguished, whose 
objects of study are so widely different from my own, they cannot fail to strike 
him, and make him see and feel that there are laws which govern Art, and that 
their application is not confined to one class of subjects. This should encourage 
him to unremitting diligence, and should kindle in him a determination to 
acquire the power to apply these laws successfully in the department of Art to 
which he intends more especially to devote himself, seeing that in so doing, he 
has made sure advances towards their universal application. 

We come now to the Branches of Trees, which, in consequence of their 
twisting very much more than the Stems, require, not only the application of all 
the instruction which has been given concerning the latter, but something in 
addition, — depending on the Laws of Light. 

All objects, and parts of objects, receive the greatest quantity of light when 
the rays are at right angles with their surfaces, and less as the rays fall on them 
obliquely. Let a «, in the annexed Example, be rays of light ; and ABC, the 

surfaces of three objects 

mr 

of equal size, placed 
at different angles with 
them : it will be seen that 



the surface A does not re- 



ceive any rays to illumine 
it, on account of its being 
precisely in their direc- 
tion ; but B, being some- 
what inclined towards them, receives the light partially ; whilst C receives it in the 
greatest degree, in consequence of being at right angles with the rays. From an 
observation of these facts, as here shown, the light and shade of the Base of the 
Column will be easily understood and accounted for. The application of this prin- 
ciple to the Branches of Trees is shown in the first Example on the opposite page : 
the light being supposed to fall obliquely from the left, those parts, such as I) D, 
which have the same inclination as the rays, are, of course, in shade ; in other 
parts the shade is regulated accordingly as they recede from the light ; and, vice 
vend, those parts are left most bright, as L L, which are the most directly opposed 
to the rays. Now let all the circumstances belonging to the Stem be added, as 




OX STEMS AND BRANCHES, 



63 



before explained, and the result will be like this Example, or as Plate 12, the 
finished state of Plate 11. The effect, both of the Stems and Branches, will also be 

more vigorous, by the indication of the moss which is found 
on them ; this being often of a dark colour, affords consider- 
able contrast and animation, as well as additional likeness- 
Branches do not grow on a level with each other, 
from opposite sides of the Stem, or of other Branches, 
but alternately, all round, at different heights, as in each of 
the Examples given in this page. The angle of their sepa- 
ration must not be overlooked, as this not only shows from 
what part of the Stem they grow, — whether the upper or 
lower part, or from each other, whether near the extremity, 
or near the Trunk, — hut also indicates, in some degree, 
the kind of Tree to which they belong. In the more 
sturdy and spreading Trees, such as the Oak and the Elm, 
the Branches — more especially the lower ones — diverge 
abruptly from the Stem, appearing to interrupt the conti- 
nuity of its direction, as is shown in Example 1 below; while 
in the more 
delicate and 
slender, such 
as the Birch and the Willow, the 
Branches shoot at a more acute 
angle from the Stem, forming 
with it, and with each other, as 
they grow up in a similar direc- 
tion, an assemblage of graceful 
lines of a like character. See 
Example 2. 

The Student should now 
compare Plates 14 and 15, with 
Plates 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, and 
22 : if he has profited by the instructions which so far have been given, he will not 
only perceive their respective merits or defects, but will be able to account for them. 




Ex. i 




64 



ON STEMS AND BRANCHES. 



By thus exercising his judgment, he will become more thoroughly sensible of the 
advantages of following the Laws of Nature closely ; and from what he already 
knows of these laws, he may estimate their additional importance in a more 
advanced stage of pictorial art. He will now be able to understand why a slight 
sketch, from the hand of a skilful Artist, is often preferred to a more laboured 
production, which may yet be very imperfect, notwithstanding its greater preten- 
sions to completeness. Such a sketch will be preferred, because it displays the 
effects of a concentrated knowledge, expressed with simplicity and power, and 
apparently without an effort. Its merit, however, does not consist in its slight- 
ness, — in its being devoid of the evidences of labour, — but in its truthfulness, with 
regard to the objects represented and the means employed. No gratification is 
afforded by a sketch, however free, where truth has been sacrificed or neglected, 
as in Plate 14 ; and as little is derived from such laboured productions as are 
exemplified by Plate 15, where a pains-taking workman has toiled, without know- 
ledge, to make the means attractive. 

Up to this point, it is to be presumed that the Student has been able 
to follow out his instructions, and to carry them into operation successfully and 
with certainty. He can now imitate the leading characteristics of Foliage, and of 
the Stems and Branches apart from each other. It must now be his business to 
unite them, and produce, by their union, effects not otherwise to be obtained. 
Before he attempts this, however, he should attend to the following observations. 

The Branches are so lost among the Foliage that no one can be distinctly 
traced to its extremity. It is by the Branches that we are able to distinguish 
more clearly such lights as represent the illumined folds of the Tree, or those 
spaces through which the eye penetrates to the sky beyond ; and it is here, 
across these spaces, large and small, that we most plainly distinguish the 
Branches, and are able, by these occasional glimpses of both Stems and Branches, 
to obtain an idea of their continuous form. The Stems and Branches also 
greatly contribute to the effect of the general roundness ; and additional force is 
given to the expression of roundness, by the shades cast on the Stems and 
Branches by the Foliage, such as a, in the Example on the opposite page. 
These shades should always be darkest at the lower part, and lighter towards 
the Foliage, which will thus immediately appear to advance, while the Stem 
or Branch will appear to retire. 



OX STEMS AND BRANCHES. 



65 




Among the impressions we derive from Trees, are those of semi-transparency 
in the Foliage, and of opacity in the Stems and Branches. Before our portraiture 
can be complete, ideas of those qualities 
must be excited in the mind. The 
Branches and Stems in shade being made 
darker than the Foliage in the drawing, 
cause the Foliage to appear semi-trans- 
parent ; whilst the lightness of the Foli- 
age acts, in its turn, on the Stems and 
Branches so as to make them appear 
opaque : and when these impressions, of 
transparency in the one and of opacity in 
the other, are produced, their relative 
depth of colour is right. Those parts of 
the Foliage also which are in shade are made to appear distant, when the 
Branches are seen continuous across it ; or nearer, when it spreads before them, 
and their continuity is hid from our observation. The Student should now 
turn to Plate 9 ; he will there find parts of an Oak and an Ash complete, which 
will assist him to comprehend and to feel the above observations. Intricacy is 
another attribute of Trees ; it is to the shaded parts that this observation more 
especially applies; and this effect of intricacy is given entirely by the number 
of the Branches, which are traced across the spaces seen in the shades, where 
the masses of Foliage separate. 

If what has been pointed out be thought minute and dry, my reply is, 
I write for the uninstructed, for the inexperienced, and the young, — not for 
those who are wise in these matters. Though the explanations may have 
appeared long to the Student, he must remember that he has now learned the 
leading features of all Trees, and therefore is so far prepared to draw all. He 
has now but to add to his pre viously- acquired knowledge of the general 
characteristics of Trees, the peculiarities of each, and very little practice, com- 
paratively, in them, will render him master of Foliage. 

" Nothing is denied to well-directed labour — nothing is to be obtained 
without it" The Student must not expect the hand immediately to execute 
what he perfectly understands; it requires diligent practice to obtain perfect 



66 



ON STEMS AND BRANCHES 



command over it. He must be content to go on surmounting his difficulties 
and weeding out his errors, one by one, as his judgment improves ; and if he 
see them disappear, though ever so slowly, he is certainly cultivating the ground 
to advantage. It is indolence which leads us to complain of the difficulties. 
Certainly, to imitate Nature well is not the easiest thing in the world ; but 
if the Student be willing to labour, he will have his reward. None can find 
their way by a readier road than a right one ; and it is mere delusion to 
talk of this or that style being easier than that which has truth for its object, 
and sound principles for its basis. Many who are anxious to avoid the difficulties 
which diligence is content to struggle with, run off from one " style" as they 
call it, to another, — or, more properly speaking, from one manner to another, 
— always fancying that to be the most worth having which they have not yet 
tried ; till at length, when more time and labour, in a thousand mistaken ways, 
have been wasted, than, if well spent in a right one, would have insured to 
them the largest share of gratification in the exercise of Art, or in the 
contemplation of Nature ; they find that they have been only running round 
in a circle of errors, without making any advance towards excellence in the 
practice of Art. They have merely acquired a smattering and confused know- 
ledge of a language which they can neither speak nor understand ; and mortified, 
at last, to discover the truth they at first refused to be persuaded of,— that 
it is on knowledge, and not on nostrums, they must depend, — and blushing 
for their elaborate mistakes, they excuse themselves in the affected candour 
of their self-accusation, — " I find I have no genius for Drawing." 

To those who are seeking a short road to Art, it may be unpalatable to be 
told that none can be shorter than that which knowledge makes short ; and that 
there are no by-paths by which idleness and indifference may find their way to a 
goal, which is only to be reached by industry and intelligence. The really short 
road is that which is made so by entering on a right course from the outset, 
taking advantage of the instruction to be derived from the experience of others, 
and persevering until what is seen to be right be accomplished. 

The Student should now know that what has hitherto been done is yet 
capable of inprovement, and by what means this is to be effected. Looking 
again to Example 8, Plate 7, he will there see that all that is done in 
giving roundness, is done by the Outline alone, but that one circumstance, 
common to the light and shade of round objects is omitted, viz., the half-tone 



ON STEMS AND BRANCHES. 



67 



of colour existing between the brightest light and the deepest shade. The 
addition of this middle tone causes the light parts to appear more round. This 
should be done by lines, indicative of the kind of Foliage, placed near the Outline, 
and next to, and lighter than, the Shades, but by no means allowed to interfere 
with either. Examine the Examples in Piute 9. 

As the forms of Trees are, apparently, changed much more by a different 
arrangement of the Stem and Branches, and an altered position of the light, than 
by alterations in the forms of the Foliage, the eye consequently does not so easily 
detect any change in the lattter as in the former. For proof of this, examine 
Plate 13, where, in each of the Examples, a separate form of Tree lias been 
adopted, and in each this form has been preserved throughout; consequently, 
in the forms of the Foliage, all the Trees are so far exactly alike ; yet, from 
their having Stems and Branches differing in shape, size, and quantity, they 
appear, as a whole or in groups, strikingly dissimilar. It is for this reason 
that, when drawing Trees, the Student should be especially careful, in the 
first place, to obtain a correct representation of the forms of the Stem and 
leading Branches, and then to add the masses of Foliage; drawing these last 
by light lines, and marking the kind of Tree, as distinguished by the shape 
and arrangement of the leaves. This may be well done in such Trees as the 
Oak, Ash, Elm, or Willow, because the forms of the folds partake so much of 
the form of the leaf, — being in the Oak irregular ; in the Elm, of a broad oval ; 
in the Ash, of a longer and narrower oval ; and in the Willow still longer : some- 
times for the forms of the folds it is only necessary to adopt the general form 
of the leaf, and thus to indicate, by the slightest means, the kind of Tree intended. 

In attempting to draw Foliage for the first time, the adaptation of the 
shade and character to positive forms usually increases the difficulties so much 
felt by beginners, as seriously to impede their progress. The Student, moreover, 
is often induced to believe, that unless the precise form of the original be secured, 
he has no hope of ultimate success ; and this leads to the same impression in 
regard to details, which he labours to copy minutely, a thing, of all others, I 
am most solicitous, for his own sake, he should cautiously avoid, if it be his wish 
to draw Foliage well. Such minuteness is not only unnecessary, but is positively 
detrimental. Should he be ambitious of attaining the excellence which he 
admires in the works of others, he must look beyond the acquisition of mere 



GS 



ON STEMS AND BRANCHES 



dexterity in the mechanism of Art. He should devote his attention to matters 
of a higher kind —to the causes of the pleasurable feelings he has experienced ; 
and under the guidance of his model, endeavour to produce the like impres- 
sions for himself, and with the like force. Although, in the beginning, it may 
be desirable to adopt the methods we have seen successfully employed by 
others, yet, eventually, in a mind acting for itself, they become greatly modi- 
fied, or entirely changed, and better adapted to the expression of its own views 
and feelings. 

The impracticability, as well as the uselessness, of copying the forms of 
Foliage minutely, have been shown in page 41 ; but the same reasons do not 
apply to the Stem and leading Branches, — features of so much importance. 
Though their various shapes may be more accurately ascertained than the forms 
of the Foliage, and drawn with more ease and precision, it is yet necessary to 
attend carefully to their general properties. The Student will experience greater 
difficulty than he at first might imagine, in depicting the intricate sinuosities of 
the Branches ; and will often find that, with all his labour, his Drawing is not 
exactly true. If the first line he draws — which should in every object be that 
to the left hand, or the upper one — vary from Nature or his model, the next — 
the right hand, or lower one — must vary in the same degree, as the second 
must be entirely dependant on the first ; nor is this more the case with the 
Stems and Branches of Trees than with all other forms. In the perfect cor- 
respondence of the second line with the first consists the truth of the drawing in 
both ; and to make either the Stems or the Branches true, the lines must be 
fitted to each other, so as to preserve their gradual diminution ; and this pro- 
perty, before spoken of, must be as strictly observed in the smallest as in the 
largest (see Examples in Plates 10 and 12). A very usual method of drawing 
Branches, but which is grossly incorrect, may be seen in Plate 14. Though in 
speaking of this, or any other error into which the Student may fall, it may 
seem hypercritical to complain of errors in individual features and lines, instead of 
general defects, it must yet be remembered that his Drawing is composed of a 
number of parts of various forms, and lines of various directions ; and that though 
the error of a single line may be minute, yet if that minute error be found in 
every line of the same kind, its repetition becomes a general and an obvious 
defect. It is certain, therefore, that to remedy the general fault, he must refer 



Plate 16 





Plate 18 



ON STEMS AND BRANCHES. 



69 



to the original minute cause of it, and correct the particular error in every line in 
which it occurs. On a further examination of Plate 14, the Student will discover 
a combination of errors and defects. Here thick Branches are attached to 
slender, and are less thick at their origin than elsewhere ; instead of diminishing 
gradually in size, they are now slender, now thick ; thicker Branches are seen 
growing at the top than towards the root of the Tree ; Branches placed near the 
root, are represented as growing upward ; the lower Branches, and most of the 
upper, by reason of the regularity of their bifurcation, and the sameness of their 
curves, look like pitchforks ; their extremities, instead of being lost among the 
Foliage, are constantly to be seen ; and so far from appearing to support the 
Foliage, they are but a collection of coarse, dark, or black lines, lying upon it. 
Were it possible to separate any one from the Foliage, and to view it by itself, it 
would be difficult to imagine it to be the Branch of a Tree. Compare the 
difference between the Examples in this Plate and Plates 10 and 12. Even 
the least instructed would not prefer the former to the latter. 

In concluding this portion of the subject, it will be as well to point out to the 
Student the mode of study on which his improvement must, from the first to the 
last stage, in a great measure depend. 

We will suppose him to have completed a Tree, or a part of one, and to be 
dissatisfied with its execution. Instead of condemning his Drawing, because, on 
the whole, he sees a manifest difference between it and that which he has tried 
to imitate, and preparing instantly to attempt a second, let him first patiently 
criticise what he has done. Let him begin his examination at his first step, the 
Shade, and ascertain if he have observed its qualities : if he have not, he must try 
to discover to what cause or causes its defects are to be attributed. Having 
discovered these, and corrected them, let him then examine the Outline, and 
proceed with every other part in succession, step by step. Such investigation will 
not only enable him to detect his failings from the beginning to the end, but will 
also excite his ingenuity to provide means for their correction, so as to make his 
Drawing more like the original, by exhibiting the same truths with corresponding 
power ; and even though his efforts to remedy the errors of his copy be in- 
effectual, he will, from thus having ascertained his mistakes, be less likely to 
repeat them in a second effort. His feelings, aroused by investigation, will prompt 
him to renew his exertions; and from having discovered his failures and their 



70 



ON STEMS AND BRANCHES. 



causes, he will apply himself more confidently to the same task, not as a toil, but 
as a trial of skill. He thus learns to think and to act for himself; his inquiry 
is no longer, — "How like is my copy to the original?" He now asks, — "Is 
it equally true to Nature ?" He no longer servilely follows the steps of another 
— taking for granted that they are right — but, guided by his acquired know- 
ledge, he finds his way to Nature by himself, and expresses his sense and 
estimation of her beauties without requiring to be prompted. 

It is a good plan for the Student to preserve and date his various essays; 
as by referring to them he can ascertain the degree of his improvement Many, 
from neglecting this useful test, are discouraged more than they otherwise would 
or ought to be ; for as their judgment has become matured, they are more alive 
to the faults which they still commit, while they forget the progress they have 
made, and the faults which they have learned to avoid. Defects are more clearly 
seen, too, in proportion as the Student is more sensitive ; and he is often 
so engrossed by them as not always to be aware when he is right. His feel- 
ings thus become constantly excited ; and, from his supposing that he is always 
in nearly the same track, and from his success not keeping pace with his desire 
to improve, he is apt to conclude that the progress he makes is but trifling. 

When it is his object to make trial of his skill in drawing any particular 
Tree, he must first look for, and study, its leading peculiarities, — as displayed 
in its manner of growth, in the form of the Leaf, in the character of the Branches, 
and in the angle of their separation from the Stem and from each other, as 
well as in the colour and texture of the Bark. 

Before the Student ventures on the study of a Tree of another kind, he 
should first be able to draw well that which he commenced with, — I have usually 
found it best to begin with the Ash, — that by comparing what he has been able 
to do with what he wishes to attempt, he may the more readily discover the most 
appropriate means. We will suppose it to be his desire to draw the Beech, 
in Plate 16, a study from Buckhurst Park : he must first observe the form of the 
Leaf, as from this he must decide on the shape of the Outline; and then the 
form and arrangement of the Lines in the Shade, In the Beech, the Leaf is 
rounder than in the Ash, consequently the form of the Outline must be rounder, 
something more like that employed for the Elm, in Plate 20 ; but the Lines, 
instead of exhibiting round general forms, like those of the Elm, must express 



OX STEMS AND BRANCHES. 



71 



long and undulating general forms, and must be much detached, to give freedom, 
and to represent the way in which the Leaves grow on the Branches, The 
Foliage of the Beech being more loose and flowing than that of the Elm, it re- 
quires that the Outline should be very sparingly introduced, and should by no 
means be rigid and connected. Much more, however, depends on the distribu- 
tion of the Shade, The Shade should be done by Broad and Short Lines — though 
they can hardly be called lines ; and the Sets of Lines, instead of being short, 
like those seen in Example 6, Plate 6, or Example I, Plate 8, should be long, 
undulating, and continuous. These undulating forms may be easily detected in 
Plate 16, as I have there left them tolerably obvious, in order that the Student 
might be the better enabled to follow them, and to comprehend what I mean. 
These sets of lines should be made to correspond with the direction of the 
Branch, and to follow its various windings. Though for the most part they are 
horizontal, or nearly so, singly, it will be generally found that, collectively, they 
are passed in long flowing lines, sloping on each side of the Tree, so that the 
lower ends may be farther from the trunk than the upper, as has been explained 
in page 45 j and this position will be found constant, especially towards the 

■ 

lower part of the Tree, and towards the extremities of the lower Branches. 

As the Branches are separated from each other at longer intervals in the 
Beech than in most other Trees, and as the diminution in their thickness is still 
more gradual, and less perceptible, they produce those long sweeping lines so 
characteristic of this Tree ; those which shoot nearest to the Root, like the 
Branches of most deciduous Trees in the like position on the Stem, incline 
towards the ground as they leave the Stem, though at their extremities they 
generally turn upwards. Both Brandies and Stem are covered with a smooth, 
silvery Bark, which naturally suggests that the Lines on it should neither be too 
evident nor have the same inclination, as in the Stems of other Trees, but should 
be placed transversely, as seen in the Example on page 59, and as applied in the 
drawing of the human figure ; and just sufficiently shown as to exhibit well the 
roundness. See Plates 10 and 16, where, in the darkest parts, the lines are 
placed so close together as to be undistinguishable : where they are required 
to be seen, the Student has already been instructed by what has been said 
in pages 60 and 6L He will also find that these lines are more and more 
curved as they are placed higher up on the Stem (according to the laws of 



72 



ON STEMS AND BRANCHES. 



Perspective) ; this helps to give height, and likewise aids the expression of 
roundness. 

Moss, of a dark and rich colour, is mostly found on the Branches, and, 
I believe, always at the Root of the Beech. This gives occasion for the dark 
patches of colour to be seen on them in the Example. These patches contribute 
to give vigour and richness : they must not, however, be left, as they often are, 
like so many ink stains. 

I have now placed before the Student the peculiar features which this Tree 
possesses in addition to the leading properties common to all Trees. But before 
he attempts this, or any other subject new to him, his best plan is to do with it as 
he would do with a machine, the construction of which he might wish thoroughly 
to understand ; — that is, to take it to pieces, and learn how each part is made, 
that he may know how to put the whole together. Let him first try the Shade 
and the Outline separately, then the Stem and the Branches, each in their turn. 
In putting these together, one Branch, with its Foliage, is enough to begin with ; 
and when he can do this successfully, he can surely do all, — to depict the whole 
tree he has but to repeat, again and again, what he has once perfectly done in 
a single branch. 

As the Student, when drawing all the various Trees in succession, will find 
that he has, of necessity, to repeat in every succeeding one much of what he 
has done in the one preceding, he should sedulously endeavour to first acquire 
the ability to draw some one really well. In consequence of this repetition, 
under certain modifications, he will find that, supposing it to have cost him 
fifty trials to do the first, as required, really well, he will be able to do the 
second equally well after thirty, the third after fifteen, the fourth after five, and 
so on until, at length, he is able to effect his purpose at the first attempt. I 
have made use of these comparative numbers for the sake of explaining more 
simply, by their proportion, the extraordinary acquisition of power which the 
Student may derive from his future tasks, in having executed one well. 

The only new difficulty the Student has to contend with in delineating a 
number of Trees in the same Drawing, is so to proportion the separation of 
the Lines, or so to unite them, that each may accord with the relative 
size and distance of the others. This is chiefly done by making the Lines 
tolerably distinct, and plainly marking the character of the nearest Trees ; and, 



ON STEMS AND BRANCHES. 



73 



towards the distance, placing the lines gradually so near each other as entirely 
to lose them in a perfectly flat tone of colour, whatever may be its depth. — 
Examine particularly those Drawings where the foreground objects are imme- 
diately contrasted with those most distant. 

In the observations which I have made on the Examples of the Beech Tree, 
1 have avoided all mention of what has, in the former pages, been placed before 
the Student; because he will find, if he examine, that most Trees possess the 
same general features, with which, by this time, he ought to be thoroughly 
and intimately acquainted. I have only thought it worth while to mention 
that there are incidental varieties and individual peculiarities; — and these he 
will surely be able to detect by studying the Plates. Nor ought he to be 
disappointed that more than this is not done for him, however he might desire 
it, or believe it to be necessary, to save him trouble ; for after all that has 
been presented to him, either here or elsewhere, he must expect to have much 
to do for himself; and he who waits to learn till all he requires to know 
be presented to his notice, will never learn at all. Something must ever be 
left to his own diligence and penetration, which the instructions contained in 
this Volume are meant to awaken and strengthen rather than to supersede. 
Indeed, the constant reference to the various Examples is intended to promote, 
as much as possible, a disposition in him to observe for himself, and to draw 
his own conclusions, so that he may fairly become his own master, and, by 
applying what he has learned from the guidance of others in the beginning, 
be enabled to guide himself to the end. 

I have not here entered on what constitutes Beauty in Foliage, either as 
regards the form of the individual Tree, or the beauty arising from the arrange- 
ment and combination of Trees ; on these subjects the Student will find ample 
information in pages 48, 49, and 80, of " The Principles and Practice of Art." 



CHAPTER VII 



ON FOREGROUNDS. 



TT is not my intention, in this part of my subject, to speak of the various 
-L objects which may be brought in to aid this very important portion of a 
Landscape. At present, I would only enter with the Student on the consider- 
ation of Grass and Herbage, the study of which seems properly to follow 
that of Foliage, as they partake so much of its nature, and are inseparable 
from the Foreground of Landscape. 

In these, again, the Student must be reminded to imitate the general cha- 
racter, not the individual details ; he must not, therefore, pretend accurately 
to depict the various Grasses which he finds, but must rather endeavour to 
convey an impression of the length or shortness of Grass generally, its scarcity 
or abundance. With these differences it is found everywhere ; and its different 
effect, whether appearing on an even lawn, or on a rugged bank, arises from the 
difference of the ground on which it grows. For this reason, whilst drawing 
the Blades of Grass, — which must be represented by a number of strokes of every 
varied position, — he must so arrange them as to distinctly convey an idea of 




the degree of evenness 
or unevenness of the 
ground underneath, as 
in Example 1 here given. 
In this preparation it will 
be seen that most of the 



lines for the Grass are 

bluntly terminated at top and bottom, and almost unavoidably so, especially 
if they be dark ; as it is barely possible to produce dark lines except thus 
contrary to Nature, where we see every blade of a taper form, as every line 



ON FOREGROUNDS. 



75 




should be, as at a and e. Turning to Example 2, it will be found that each blunt 
line lias been afterwards made taper ; and that the results at each part, a and 

e, are different. At 
a, the lines give dis- 



tance to the light be- 
yond, the lines them- 
selves having the form 
of the blades of Grass, 
and standing as their 
representatives ; but 

at e, where also they are terminated in a point, the blades of Grass are not there, 
represented by the lines themselves, but, on the contrary, by the white -paper 
enclosed between the lines : the character of the Grass being thus given to the 
white paper below, the strokes then stand for the Shade between them ; and now 
the white paper, in its turn, gives distance to these masses of Shade. 

The Student will observe, that here the like effects take place as in Foliage ; 
the character is seen and most distinctly marked in the same places, namely, 
on the extremities of the Shades, where they separate from the Light, and on 
the extremities of the Lights, where they separate from the Shades. The 
groups of lines require to be modified and blended with the paper at each 
end by lighter lines, made smaller, and more apart, as they recede from each 
group. The other separations between the masses of Shade should be of various 
sizes : the largest must have light lines, inclining in various directions, to break 
the monotony of the broad masses of Light, and also to make it the more 
completely understood that these masses are meant to give the idea of Grass, 
as much or even more than the lines themselves* The smaller portions of 
paper intervening between the groups of lines, may be employed for leaves 
of the Acanthus, or the Mallow, or of other kinds, of various sizes ; this 
may be done by uniting the lines above and below these portions of paper, as 
may be seen in different parts of Example 2. Leaves, of all sizes, are also 
formed by taking away the serrated terminations of the masses of lines, so as to 
form a clear edge to each ; and in the largest, the central fibre, which, in Nature, 
separates the leaf into equal portions, should be marked by a line more or 
less distinct. All this increases the attraction of the Lights, and contributes 



76 



ON FOREGROUNDS. 



to the grand object of making the likeness most remarkable where the lines are 
fewest. Compare the preparation of every part of the Foreground in Plate 11, 
with the Foreground completed in Plate 12, to see how these things have been 
prepared, and afterwards completed. What is found here, however, is not 
enough; the Student ought to look attentively at every Drawing in which 
there is a Foreground represented and described, especially at Plate 21, that, by 
viewing the varieties each presents, he may be fully convinced that these prin- 
ciples are constantly followed out. From being previously acquainted with 
them, he will know how to trace their operation, and will be able readily to 
discover such a manner of employing the means or materials he uses, as will 
Jbest insure success to his efforts. 

The varieties of Herbage present a wide field for the Student's observation. 
The Burdock, the Acanthus, the Thistle, with many others, possess the most 
beautiful and varied forms, and serve, by their judicious association with other 
objects, to enhance the characteristics of the Landscape, and by their portraiture, 
to augment the general truth of the whole Picture. The effects produced by 
their introduction may be seen in several of the Examples given, particularly 
in Plate 21. 

For an instance in proof of the trifling difference which may exist, and often 
unavoidably, in the manipulation of the materials of Art on totally dissimilar 
objects, the Student — bearing in mind what has been said to him on the subject of 
Grass— where its character is marked— the form of the ground underneath, Ac- 
has only to turn to Plate 4, where he will see that there is a great similarity in 
the individual form of the lines themselves, whether for Grass or for the hairy 
covering of animals : perceiving this, he cannot fail to be convinced of the 
impossibility of rightly applying them in such instances to the surfaces of 
bodies, except with reference to, and with a perfect knowledge of, the forms 
underneath ; and that but for this knowledge, the small individual variety of the 
lines could never be made to convey such varied and distinct ideas. 

The delineation of every blade of Grass by an equal number of strokes is 
no more required than to represent in Foliage each individual leaf; for who 
could ascertain the number there may be in either case ? All, however, can judge 
of the abundance or scarcity of Grass, whether it looks flexible, and as if it would 
give way to the pressure of the foot or not. See Plate 14 ; in the Foreground of 



ON FOREGROUNDS 



77 



which are exhibited some such mistakes as must inevitably be made by those who 
attempt to be bold and dashing at the expense of truth ^who display their swiftness 
by their rapidity in doing wrong, and their freedom by the liberties which they 
take with Nature. In this Drawing, much of what is meant for Grass looks 
like the teeth of a saw, or anything which the spectator's imagination can 
suggest, equally remote from the real object ; and it is difficult to say 
what the other random lines intended for Fern look like, — certainly not like 
Nature. It is surely sufficient encouragement to study Nature, if only to 
avoid the certainty of committing such gross mistakes. Can it be matter of 
congratulation to deal thus roughly with her, and thus to confound all her 
beauties in one unintelligible mass of lines, which the hand, without guidance 
from the mind, has liberally distributed in every direction but the right, when 
the truest imitations of her may be effected, even more speedily and more 
freely?* I cannot possibly comment on all errors; but for the sake of those 
who would study Art, I point to such as are most common, and even popular; 
so that by contrasting the different results of truth and error, I may be able 
to make the greater impression. 

While some are waiting the inspirations of genius, and others are giving 
the reins to impulse, erroneously believing that their dashing, or their laboured 
counterfeits, look like the productions of real talent, the more rational Student, 
whether Artist or Amateur, will be continually gathering his materials from 
all the sources presented to him ; and, by diligent mental labour, correcting and 
refining his practice, knowing that the productions of a cultivated imagination 
will be so imbued with the true spirit of Nature as sensibly and effectually to 
address themselves to the taste and feelings of all. 

Having so minutely detailed the operations of the Pencil, and having led the 
Student to such a careful investigation of Nature, I may have risked objections 
from those who argue for general breadth, and the effect of a whole, rather than 
such particular attention to individual objects. I acknowledge the attention of 
the spectator may be best arrested by a union of the parts into one general and 
effective combination, rather than by the individual portions of a Picture. Yet 
how is that powerful whole to be produced, when ignorance is displayed in 

* In Plate 15, Nature is equally disregarded, even by the more pains-taking; though of the two, 
these errors, if not less objectionable, are perhaps less mischievous, in their results. 



78 



ON FOREGROUNDS. 



each of the parts composing it, be it what it may, — a Picture, a Building, or 
a Machine ? Now, as nothing can come of nothing, and as a knowledge of 
the whole must be made up of a knowledge of the parts, the whole, to be good, 
necessarily involves the goodness of the parts. He who best knows all the 
properties belonging to each part is most likely to know what are essential 
to his purpose, and can either bring all to his aid, or reject such as he does 
not require. 

Surely it is too soon to urge the Student, young in Art, to aim at general 
effect, — to grapple at once with the combined difficulties of a more advanced 
stage of Art, — Composition, Light and Shade, and Colour, with all their pro- 
perties. To expect all this from one who, as yet, does not clearly understand 
the properties of a single object, is to look for fruit ere the blossom be expanded. 
Does the Musician press his Pupil, who scarcely knows the names of the notes, 
to consider and attempt the general effect of concerted pieces ? The art of 
Painting cannot be seized by a coup de main any more than that of Music. 
The knowledge of either is no inherent gift. To advance with certainty in 
any study we must proceed with caution, and step by step. 



CHAPTER VIII 



LIGHT AND SHADE. 

BEFORE entering on this department of Pictorial study, I take it for 
granted that the Student can produce a correct Outline, be the object 
of his pursuit what it may. If unable to do this, Light and Shade will not assist 
him in rectifying any of his errors, but will rather tend to expose them. Nor can 
he properly understand or apply Light and Shade without a knowledge of Form. 
He has already been told that Light and Shade do not effect any change in the 
Form of an object, and that they constitute a distinct and separate study. Light 
and Shade, as here treated of, will be confined to the individual objects. For 
their application to an entire Picture, whether embracing few or many objects, 
the Student should consult Chapter VI. of " The Principles and Practice of 
Art," where it is explained at large. 

Light and Shade, in the practice of Art, should be considered as the means 
of representing a surface in such a manner as to convey to the mind a correct 
idea of the character of a solid body — whether convex or concave, prominent or 
indented. In a Drawing, the Outline is to the contour of a real figure, or body, just 
what the Light and Shade are to its surface: the one leaves an object superficial, 
the other makes it appear solid. It is, therefore, necessary to be acquainted with 
Form, before attempting Light and Shade; for though the latter produce the 
greatest illusion, by imparting to all objects their peculiar character as solids, thus 
powerfully counteracting the influence of the flat surface on which they are 
drawn ; yet all this power would be rendered nugatory by an incorrect Outline, 
whilst that incorrectness would become more strikingly obvious by the application 
of Light and Shade. 

In the use of the Chalk or Pencil, it is to be observed, that no absolute 
and positive likeness to Nature is produced by the lines themselves, abstractly 
considered. It is, therefore, a matter of the first importance, in any attempt 



so 



LIGHT AND SHADE. 



at Shade with these instruments, to study the proper application of lines, when 
their repetition, in order to obtain Shade, thus becomes unavoidably necessary. 
To obviate the anomalies consequent on the employment of the Chalk, or Pencil, 
for this purpose, these observations are called for; the more so, as the number 
of the lines, as well as their intensity, is increased in order to obtain the Shades, 
and on these all the labour is bestowed ; whilst on the Lights few lines are either 
used or required. Now, by separating in the mind the consideration of a 
Shade partially, or entirely obscuring an object, from the character of the 
object as seen through the Shade, according to its intensity, we shall have the 
idea of a perfectly equal and unbroken tone of colour, — such as may be seen in 
open doorways, or on perfectly flat walls. From this it might be concluded, that 
in the Shades there should be no positive evidence of the direction of the lines, in 
order that the perfect evenness of the Shades, which is their distinguishing quality, 
should be preserved. As the character of a surface in Shade, however, is gene- 
rally more or less seen through it, the lines employed to express Shade should, 
where the character of the surface is perceptible, be so adapted as at the same 
time to indicate that character ; when portions of the surface have any particular 
direction, the lines should have the same, and yet should be so close together, 
and so equal in depth of colour, as to convey distinctly the idea of Shade. These 
observations may be seen carried into practice, in the Trunks of the Trees of 
Plate 12 ; they may also be understood as applicable to the tiled Roofs of 
Buildings, where the tiles, not being entirely obscured by the Shade, require 
the strokes on the Shade to follow in their direction, so that the Shade and 
the character of the surface, partially obscured, may at the same time be 
represented. This application of the suggestions of Nature prevents the Shades 
from being poor and unmeaning, as they would be if they were made perfectly 
smooth, and forms a corrective of the opposite extreme also, of making lines in 
the Shades too obvious, by which all appearance of their retiring is destroyed. 
See again, Examples 1 and 2, Plate 8, and Plate 11, where the Shades only are 
clone, so that the influence of the character given in the light parts of these 
subjects, as completed in Plates 9 and 12, may be the more apparent, and thus 
more forcibly prove how much is obtained by giving the interest to the illumi- 
nated parts of objects, and there with all possible power. 

When looking at objects in Nature with w r hich we are well acquainted, 



LIGHT AND SHADE 



81 



we are so perfectly conscious of their forms, and of their surfaces, that the eye no 
longer voluntarily follows the contour ; indeed, it is impossible to see the precise 
limits of any object, unless it be superficial, and very violently contrasted. The 
most familiar objects will prove the truth of these remarks. Let the Student 
regard any object or objects around him, at the moment he is reading this, and he 
will find that their forms are so variously contrasted, — sometimes having their 
Outline strongly relieved by the darker or lighter colour of others behind, 
sometimes mingling with another of like intensity of colour, or so involved in 
Shade of unequal intensity, or so extremely unequal in their own local colour, — 
as to render it absolutely impossible to follow the precise form of any one. The 
Student on examining each of the Shaded Examples given in this Work, will 
find that this important fact has been constantly observed in all 

In Plate 10, the light Beech Stems are, in one place, separated by some very 
dark ones beyond them ; in another, they relieve, by opposing their own dark 
colour to what is light and distant. Through the whole course of their Outline, 
either on the illumined or shaded side, they are alternately contrasted by light or 
dark, plainly or indistinctly seen, so that we arc affected less by the impression of 
their different shapes, than we are by their apparent roundness and solidity, and 
with the space which intervenes between them in every part, from the nearest to 
the most distant object. These oppositions, and consequent separations of one 
object from another, take place in every varied degree, whether with the stubborn 
and opake Stems and Branches, or with the flexible and transparent Foliage, — 
with large or with small objects, with the whole as with the parts. It should 
never be possible, in Art, to trace the Outline of objects equally in every part 

+ 

whenever Light and Shade is added, otherwise they will not appear to be solid 
and round, nor will the attention be arrested, as in Nature, by their surfaces. 

The Student will find the same peculiarities, if he examine the Outline of the 
various Trees in Plate 20, where they separate from the Sky behind them, 
or from each other, and where the confines of the Stream are lost among the 
Rocks ; indeed, if he direct his attention to the Stream, the Rocks, the Trees, 
or the Figure, or to any part of this or the other completed Drawings, he will 
find it difficult, if not impossible, to precisely follow the course of the Outline 
of any object, whenever Shade or Shadow has been added to explain the 
surface. 



82 



LIGHT AND SHADE. 



Sometimes it is necessary to produce, in the first instance, a perfectly flat 
tone of colour, where the Shade passes over a smooth object, or one com- 
paratively so,— as across the Water, in Plate 21 ; and this is absolutely demanded, 
when it is required to detach from Shade: any object of a darker colour, such as 
the dark Cow, and at the same time to give character to it. For if the Shade 
across the Water were composed of lines distinctly separated from each other, no 
matter what their direction, those intended to characterise the Animal would 
scarcely be distinguish ed, — all would be one mass of confusion. 

Roundness and solidity are, or ought to be, the consequence of Light and 
Shade, as certainly as Form is the result of the Outline ; but as Light and Shade 
are more powerful in their influence on the mind in creating illusion, — with- 
drawing the attention from the flat surface on which the Picture is painted,— the 
moment Light and Shade are introduced, the Outline should cease to exist as an 
Outline ; it is no longer required. That which Nature takes so much pains to 
conceal, namely, a distinct Outline, the young Student is mostly to be found 
exerting himself to display; but now that he knows this truth among others, 
he will see that it is much more profitable to spend his time in following up, 
with sedulous attention, the study of those principles, the importance of which 
I have endeavoured to impress on him. 

In Light and Shade, distinction must be made between natural Shade, and 
accidental Shadow. Natural Shade is that which is inseparably connected with 
every object receiving the light. Accidental Shadow is that which one object 
casts on another, by interposing between it and the light ; and this accidental 
Shadow may be removed by removing the object which produces it.* 

An accidental Shadow is darker or lighter than the shaded side of the object 
casting the Shadow, accordingly as the object on which it falls, is, in its local 
colour, darker or lighter than the object casting the Shadow. For instance, if the 
Shadow of a white building be thrown on another white building, the Shadow 
thrown will be darker than the shaded side of the building throwing it ; but if the 
building which throws the Shadow be of brick, or any material darker in colour, 
then its shaded side will be darker than its Shadow, on the white building which 
receives it. In these cast Shadows there are two other circumstances very 
important to notice,— first, the form and intensity of the Shadow thrown ; and 

* See " Principles and Practice of Art," pages 95, 96, and 97. 



LIGHT AND SHADE 



83 





secondly, the form of the object or surface over which it passes ; because on the 
edge of this accidental, or cast Shadow, the Student must mainly depend for 
the indication of the nature of the surface which receives it. 

For a further illustration of this, see the Example below : where the 
Shadow of the Stick, across the moulding of the base of a Column, shows dis- 
tinctly which parts of it are concave, which convex, and which upright, and to a 

degree which we look for in vain from its 
natural Light and Shadow. So with Ex- 
ample 1, in the annexed cut ; where, from 
the edge of the cast Shadow, it is evident 
how far the Wall, in the blank Window, 
recedes from the general surface, and 
how much above this the Architrave 
around it projects : whereas, in Example 2, it is difficult to believe that any 
part of the Architrave comes forward; although the recess may be as well 
understood in this as in the 
other example. The Student 
must attend to this as a point 
of the greatest consequence ; 
as the forms given to the 
Outline of these accidental 
Shadows, help him more than 
the Light and Shade neces- 



sarily belonging to an object, 
to explain clearly the precise undulations of all surfaces, and to give them the 
appearance of solidity. More instances, occurring in other Examples, might be 
enumerated ; but these I leave the Student to discover for himself. 

Though the shaded parts of objects, in any degree round, do not separate 
from their light parts abruptly, but gradually, and the rays of light glide over the 
surface, yet the Shadows which such objects cast,— whatever be the surface on 
which they fall,— are just as well denned on the edge, as those from any angular 
object, the light and dark parts of which separate abruptly. See the Shadows of 
the Trunks of the Trees on the ground in Plate 21, and in Plate 10; and the 
Shadow of the Pollard Willow across the white Cow ; the Shadow of the ear 




84 



LIGHT AND SHADE. 



across her face, and of her leg across the dewlap ; which are just as sharp and 
well defined as are the Shadows of the Leaves in the foreground on each other. 
Shadows, whether they be cast by round or cylindrical objects, such as a globe, 
or the stem of a tree, have their edges just as well defined and clear as the 
Shadow which falls from the blade of a knife** 

All lines for the Shades and Shadows should be firmly drawn, as shown in 
all the Examples, and of equal colour, whatever be their direction, so that the 
colour of the Shade or Shadow may be even ; but on Flesh, they require to be 
lighter, either at one end or at both ends, and curved, whether the surface be 
concave or convex, as in the upper Hand in Plate 1. 

Lines put on for Shade, or Shadow, if too light, must not be gone over 
in the same direction, to increase the colour. It is difficult and tedious to 
follow exactly those first made ; and in making one set of lines over the other, 
with the speed of the first, some of the first lines are increased in their 
intensity, two-fold, by the second, or the spaces between them are filled up, 
and thus the evenness of the Shade is destroyed. Should the lines for the 
Shadows be too evident, or come forward instead of retiring, or mark the cha- 
racter too much, the Pupil has been already instructed how to remedy this, in 
page 46. 

Hitherto my remarks have been confined to the Light and Shade of objects 
individually. Of their influence on objects collectively, I have treated at length, 
in Chapter VL of the " Principles and Practice of Art," as a separate study ; 
for, though Effect be produced by Light and Shade, there may, nevertheless, 
be Light and Shade, without producing Effect, The latter is not the inva- 
riable consequence of the former. 

Most Amateurs, in their too great eagerness to use the Brush, are apt to 
overlook the importance of first acquiring a knowledge of the elementary prin- 
ciples of Art: allured by the fascinations of colour, they fail to perceive the 
utility of the Chalk or Pencil. In their inconsiderate desire to attain the end, 
they neglect the means ; and abandon as an impediment that which in reality 
would facilitate their progress, and is indispensable to their final success. Taking 
up the Brush before they are prepared to use it, they meet with obstacles which 
they cannot surmount, and being dissatisfied with their abortive attempts at 

* See " Principles and Practice of Art/' from pages 97 to 100, 



LIGHT AND SHADE. 



85 



colour, and disinclined to resume a course of elementary study, they relinquish 
the pursuit of Art, and moralise on their former infatuation. 

Most beginners in Art look on the Study of Form as dry and unprofitable, 
and pursue it with more haste than good speed. Buoyed up by false hopes, 
flying from the troubles " they know, to others they know not of," they hurry to 
the study of Light and Shade, to gain what is termed a "bold Effect,"— in other 
words, a violent contrast of black and white, to hide or excuse their bad drawing. 
This specious " Effect" may, indeed, impose on the entirely unlearned in matters 
of Art; but those whose minds are enlightened, in however small a degree, see 
through the specious veil, and find every original defect of drawing rendered more 
intolerable by the very means employed to conceal it. Here again, as with Form, 

there are difficulties equally tedious and difficult to overcome, augmenting those 

* 

which they thought to evade ; and, in the same ratio as these increase, the courage 
to face them diminishes. But one more step remains, — Colour, They heedlessly 
rush to this as their last resource, with the same vain expectations that led them 
from Form to Light and Shade;— new difficulties present themselves in addition 
to the former, and no new power, and still less inclination, has been acquired to 
contend with them. \\ hat wonder, then, that total failure should be the result 
of this 

"Chase of idle hopes and fears ! Byron. 



CHAPTER IX. 

ON THE USE OF THE BRUSH. 

■ 

IN entering on this subject, I shall first point out, as I promised, the relation 
between the use of the Brush and the Chalk or Pencil, and show in what 
manner the practice of the latter leads to the efficient use of the former. To do 
this properly and distinctly, it will be best to explain in what they differ, and in 
what respects the one lias an advantage over the other. 

As the use of the Chalk or Pencil involves the Artist inevitably in the 
production of lines which, as such, are more or less at variance with Nature, 
he is compelled to exert his ingenuity to conceal their defects as much as 
possible. The Brush does not naturally produce lines, and, consequently, its 
effects are, in that particular, so much more like Nature; the advantages 
derivable from its use are, perfectly flat tones of colour, and the imitation of 
local colour of every degree of depth. The sense in which I here use the 
term " local colour," is not to be understood as expressive of the difference of the 
colours of objects, but of the comparative depth of each. In this sense local 
colour may be represented by a single colour, sepia, for instance, which is one 
of the best pigments for this purpose, and the most generally used. 

From the Chalk or Pencil is to be obtained every degree of depth of colour 
the instant it is wanted, from the lightest to the darkest, by the difference of 
pressure; and its operations may be suspended for any length of time that the 
Student may require either to collect his thoughts for what he is about to do, or 
to examine what he has already done ; and all can be readily removed if wrong,— 
its chief advantage to beginners. 

On the contrary, the operations of the Brush, in Water- Colours, require 
speed, especially in Foliage, and in passing over large spaces, inasmuch as the 
colour dries rapidly. Here, then, if the Student have not all his thoughts at 



ON THE USE OF THE BRUSH. 



87 



command, and be not prompt in execution, from previous practice with the Chalk 
or Pencil, he can do nothing, — absolutely nothing. The tremor occasioned by 
knowing that what he is doing must be done quickly, and, if wrong, cannot 
be very easily erased, is of itself a great impediment to free execution ; and, if to 
this be added ignorance of what is to be done, failure is certain. He is often 
obliged to apply to his Pallet, either to increase the strength of colour, or, by 
adding more water, to diminish it ; and to heighten his embarrassment, his colour 
is drying because he is not sufficiently dextrous, — for if he have not the necessary 
knowledge, dextrous he cannot be. When previously accomplished, however, in 
the use of the Chalk or Pencil, he has but little to learn in the use of the Brush, 
as he will find. Let him review what he has already learned, and he will see that 
the principles of Art and Nature have not changed because he has changed 
his instrument or materials. Foliage still grows the same, whether imitated with 
the Brush or the Pencil. Objects retain their Forms, and are subject to the same 
laws of Light and Shade, and have the same character ; but as he has already 
learned how to depict their visible qualities with the Chalk or Pencil, his only 
additional study is local colour. The mechanical difficulties of the Brush are 
speedily overcome; so very speedily, that I have invariably found persons who 
were capable of using the Chalk or Pencil well, use the Brush with equal 
facility and power, after a very few trials. From the consequent decision of the 
operations, that which has been thus done wears so much the stamp of truth, 
vigour, and courage, imparted by acquired knowledge, as to have the appearance 
of being done by an Artist rather than by an Amateur. 

The Chalk or Pencil does not imitate local colour well without much labour ; 
and such imitation, unless it can be done with judgment, should never be 
attempted. This defect of the Chalk or Pencil is, in a great degree, overcome by 
the employment of a tinted paper, as in the Plates 2, 3, 10, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 
and 22. In these, dark objects, such as the Trees which cross the Sky, have their 
local colour suggested by the colour of the paper ; and light in the Sky, or any 
brilliant lights, such as those in the Water of Plate 17, 18, and 21, or any white 
objects, such as the Cow in Plate 22* have their brightness represented either by 
white opake colour, or by white Chalk. A more effective imitation of Nature is 
thus obtained ; bright objects look more luminous, dark ones more rich, and solid 
objects appear firmer. An impression of permeable space is produced ; the Trees 



See frontispiece 



88 



ON THE USE OF THE BRUSH. 



seem decidedly round, and the interstices of the Foliage pervious ; the Sky 
appears distant ; and an idea is excited of the whole subject being pervaded by 
atmosphere. All the Drawings on white paper, when compared with those on 
tinted paper, appear cold, harsh, meagre, and less satisfactory in many important 
respects. If the Student turn to Plate 13, he will see that, in the upper subject, 
the light parts of all objects are left white ; and if the Stems of the Trees appear 
darker than the Foliage, it is on account of the greater number and depth of the 
lines placed on them : but however the Rocks, Roads, Buildings, and Foliage may 
differ in their local colour, that difference here finds little or no expression — 
in all, the bright lights are white. The reason why this local colour cannot well 
be given with the Chalk or Pencil, and should therefore seldom be attempted, is, 
that it is necessary to cover the object in such a way, that such lines as come 
afterwards to mark the character may not be interfered with. The lower subject 
of Plate 13 will exemplify this. The largest portion of the Castle has a tone of 
colour over it, to indicate that the materials of which it is composed are of 
a darker colour than those composing the other portion of the Building ; and this 
local colour is represented without any lines being apparent, so that such as are 
placed on it, to give the character of the materials of the Building, may be 
plain enough to be perfectly understood. There is also some attempt to imitate 
the darker local colour of the Trees, on the right of this picture ; these attempts, 
however, are of necessity very limited, for here again the sun-lit parts of the 
Mountains, the Grass, the Road, and of some of the Trees, are all white. Local 
colour, however, is more beautifully and more effectively imitated with the 
Brush; and in this chiefly consists the difference between its use and that of 
the Chalk or Pencil. When using the latter, the Student has been directed to 
begin with the Shadows, because it is much more easy to adapt the Outline to 
the Shade than the Shade to the Outline, as no attempt is made to imitate local 
colour, and as the lines for the Shade can often be so arranged as to render an 
Outline unnecessary. In using the Brush, however, the operations may be re- 
versed ; the general body of the colour, that is, the local colour, may be laid on 
first, and with this is given the same form and character of the Foliage that 
is given by the Outline from the Chalk or Pencil. See Example 1, Plate 23. 

In Trees, there are of course a multitude of Forms to be expressed, and 
all must be accurate in character; but when a considerable surface is to be 



Plate 23 



ON THE USE OF THE BRUSH. 89 

covered, the colour is drying during the operation, and is apt to dry too fast. To 
avoid, as much as possible, this inconvenience, and to accomplish all that is 
wanted, each Form (as Example 1 , Plate 23) should be done separately ; and the 
Brush should be kept moderately full, beginning at the top and towards the left- 
hand side of the Tree, and observing the same motion of the hand as when using 
the Lead Pencil. Whenever it may be desirable to attach to the first Form so 
made, a second of the like kind, it is easy to do this, because the colour will 
remain wet; to the second, a third may be added in like manner, and so on> 
till sufficient be done. See Example 2, which in its results, corresponds with 
Example 2, Plate 7 ; that is, the Form and Character thus given to the Tree 
by the Colour, are the same as are given by the Chalk or Pencil, in the Outline. 
By the former mode, however, instead of there being a quantity of white paper 
enclosed by the Outline, the whole, except the required interstices, is covered 
with colour, representing the local colour of the object; and herein lies the 
especial difference between the productions of the Brush, and those of the 
Chalk or Pencil. 

When so much as is shown in Example 2 can be readily done with the 
Brush, no difficulty will be found in completing a whole Tree. In attaching 
the several masses to each other, the interstices, small and large, which, in all 
Trees, are seen between them, more or less numerous, are to be kept light, as 
may be required. 

The form of the Tree and the Character of the Foliage being thus completed, 
it remains but to add the Shadow, the Stem, and the Branches,— following strictly 
the same order and the same principles that are to be observed in using the 
Chalk or Pencil. The Student has, therefore, no new difficulty of importance 
to contend with, except, perhaps, in preventing the second colour, for the Shade, 
assuming, on the Shaded side, distinct forms, which may be confounded with 
those produced by the first, which represents the local colour (see Example 3). 
This colour for the Shade should never come to the limits of the first, or local 
colour, on the Shaded side of the Tree, as at b b, Example 3 ; for if the form of 
the first colour were not exactly followed by the second, a new form would be 
created ; and if it were exactly followed, the edge on the Shaded side would be 
too dark and hard. The colour of the Sepia, therefore, after having distinctly 
expressed the character of the Foliage towards the light side of the Tree, should 



90 



ON THE USE OF THE BRUSH. 



be so mingled with the first, or local colour, on the Shaded side, as to leave no 
new Form ; this is effected by using the Brush with but little colour in it. 

The most effective mode, however, of using the Brush in Foliage, and of 
obtaining the nearest likeness to Nature, is to observe, from the beginning, the 
same order of operation as in using the Chalk or Pencil, — that is, to put in the 
Shades first, and the Light, or local colours, afterwards* By proceeding in this 
manner, we are, moreover, enabled to work more deliberately, as less incon- 
venience is to be apprehended from the colour drying. In applying the local 
colour to the Shade, we can not only adjust it so as to leave any number of 
interstices, but also in such a manner as to express most distinctly either the 
lightness or density of the Foliage* The same mode of procedure may indeed be 
employed with advantage in depicting all other objects. 

In representing Grass and Herbage, Character on the Outline is not required 
in the first tone of colour, as in Foliage ; the forms of the masses only are wanted, 
to show their Outline when a path or road divides them ; Character must be 
gained by the second operation, and this again is exactly the same as that of 
the Chalk or Pencil, which has been previously explained ; the end is always 
to be obtained in the same simple manner. It would be useless to multiply 
Examples ; either the local colour should be first laid on, and the Shade and 
Character afterwards added ; or these operations may be reversed, the Shade 
being put on first, as with the Chalk or Pencil, observing the same principles, and 
obtaining the same results. 

As from the Brush even washes of colour are obtained, the Student should 
carefully observe to pass all light colours over intervening objects of a darker 
colour, or over the places where such objects are to come, so as to avoid leaving 
any unnecessary interstices of white paper; and when Trees, or any objects 
whose local colour is dark, cross the lighter colour of Skies and Distances, the 
Skies and Distances should be first put in, and their colour should be passed 
entirely over the places which Trees or other dark objects are to occupy. Such 
lighter tones of colour as those on the distant Hills and Cliffs, to the right, 
in Plate 24, should be passed without scruple over the places which are to 
be occupied by the darker Rocks, Trees, and Buildings immediately under 
them ; and in a like manner the colour on the Tower, in the centre of this 
Picture, and the Rock on which it stands, should be passed over the place 



ON THE USE OF THE BRUSH. 



91 



occupied by the dark Tree. As it would be extremely embarrassing to leave, 
in the midst of masses of Shade, minute and scattered lights, — such as the 
lights across the Water, and the light on the Figures in the foreground, and 
on the Stems of the Trees to the left, — the broad wash of light colour in the 
foreground must be taken over them all fearlessly, and when that is dry, these 
lights must be obtained by scratching them out of these broad washes with 
a sharp penknife, or by wetting the place with clean water, and when nearly 
dry, rubbing it smartly with a silk handkerchief over the finger, or with the 
Indian Rubber. The great object is, to do this in such a way as to avoid leaving 
the edges of the lights thus obtained, or the surface of the paper, woolly. The 
Student must here be reminded to observe most rigidly the form of every portion 
of colour he is putting on, so that he may make the Lights true and attractive. 
He must not have unmeaning blots of colour, but should recollect that every 
touch he gives to his Picture should have a form perfectly consistent with the 
object to which it is applied. The best practice I can recommend to the Student 
is, to copy with the Brush, attending to its peculiarities, the Examples which 
are here given to him for the Chalk or Pencil. I have found by experience the 
value of this method, as a sure means of acquiring facility and power of execution. 

Should these Examples, with those I have already published, be insufficient 
to satisfy the Student — to explain every point of practice, to resolve every doubt, 
— he must apply to his Tutor, to do that for him which could not be done here, 
without extending this volume beyond all reasonable bounds. Here, he must not 
expect more than to learn sound principles, — to witness the proofs that they can 
be carried into practice, — and to have presented to him instances of their effects. 
All works of Art, to be good, must contain them; but the endless methods of 
combining them it would be quite impossible to show. When he has attained a 
thorough knowledge of those principles, he will select such Examples as are most 
accordant with his own taste and feelings. Thus prepared, he will be in little 
danger of being either awed by the grave dogmas of antiquated authority, or 
captivated by the ichti of fashion ; for it is unlikely that he should select 
Examples for imitation which his judgment, founded on attentive observation 
of Nature, does not sanction. Even supposing that sufficient time cannot be 
commanded for the continued practice of Art, he will still be able, by being 
correctly informed, to speak well on a subject which all make a part of their 



92 



ON THE USE OF THE BRUSH 



almost daily conversation : he will neither unthinkingly applaud what is worth- 
less, nor condemn what is truly excellent. 

I here take leave of my Reader, having placed before him, to the best 
of my ability, some of the simple principles of Nature and of Art, — principles 
which are essential to Art in its perfection, as well as in its rudiments, — 
which are not a Lesson for the day only, but such as he must observe 
from the beginning to the end, so often and so long as he continues to practise 
Art. Their constant applicability, in every stage and in every department of 
Pictorial Art, is indeed their best recommendation to the Student's attention ; and 
instead of considering their repetition irksome, he should be delighted that they 
are so few, so simple, and so universal in their operation. To teach him these 
has been my chief purpose; all that he has learned is applicable to all objects 
on which he may employ his Pencil, of whatever kind ; and I strenuously urge 
him to test their truth again and again by a reference to Nature, and to look 
for their practical exemplification, not only- in the Examples here given, but 
in every work of Art, having merit, ancient or modern, by whomsoever painted. 
According to the relative excellence of such works, he will assuredly discover 
those principles in a greater or less degree ; and this of itself should induce 
him to persevere in following that which he finds to be true, as the only secret 
of Art which is worth knowing. 



APPENDIX. 



ON THE MATERIALS. 

Though it be true, in a great measure, that materials are good or bad in pro- 
portion as they are skillfully used or not; it is equally true, that from some 
are to be obtained effects, and expressions of qualities, which no skill can obtain 
from others: for this reason, I think it advisable to say what I consider the 
best, and why. 

That Paper is the best on which can he readily obtained not only the delicate 
tones required for skies and distant objects, but also the vigour required for 
strongly marked objects in the foreground. These qualities of delicacy and 
vigour are best obtained on a Paper, the surface of which is moderately smooth, 
such as imperial hot-pressed, or finely-woven, which is better. Bristol-board is 
frequently used ; but in consequence of its glassy smoothness, the pencil slides 
over it, so that no depth of colour can be obtained, except by such pressure 
as deprives the hand of freedom : for the purpose of Chalk-drawing it is nearly 
as objectionable; it is impossible, without great labour, to obtain any power; 
and if it be chosen to make what is called, or rather mis-called, a highly-finished 
Drawing, it would be better at once to take the Brush, which does ten times 
as much in one tenth of the time. Rough paper is as bad, in an opposite 
extreme : this resists the Chalk or Pencil so much, that everything looks coarse 
and powdery; and it is vain to try to gain delicate tones, such as are required 
for Distances, and in Figures ; and as it also offers to the Chalk or Pencil a 
greater resistance in some places than in others, the evenness of colour, indis- 
pensable to Shade, cannot be obtained. Instead of a Drawing Board, a substitute 
formed in the following manner, is commonly employed : a number of sheets of 
equal size are pressed together and glued at the edges only, and all round; 
these are fixed to a tolerably strong mill-board, and the whole forms a most 
advantageous flat surface, as solid as a board. The sheet on which the Drawing 
is made can be removed instantly. For sketching from Nature it is quite a 
luxury. Such substitutes for Boards are called French Blocks, and are to be 
had of all the Artists' colourmen. 



94 



ON THE MATERIALS 



The Chalk I prefer is that called Conte. It is to be had of different degrees 
of hardness ; but for general purposes that which is cylindrical and glazed, 
is the best. 

Recently the quality of Lead Pencils, both for the purposes of Art and for 
general use, has been greatly improved, in consequence of the discovery, made by 
my friend Mr. W. Brockedon, of the mode of preparing pure Plumbago. For 
years, no fresh lead has been obtained from the Cumberland mines, and the best 
having been exhausted long ago, Lead Pencils were getting every day worse, and 
insufferable from grit. To remedy this, composition pencils have been manufac- 
tured ; but these possess no lustre nor depth of colour, and it is difficult — some- 
times impossible — to efface their markings. By Mr. Brockedon's invention, we 
obtain the pure Black Lead, in all its lustre and depth of colour, without a particle 
of grit, and of every degree of hardness or softness ; and the markings from all are 
easily effaced. So great is the improvement in all respects, even over the Plumbago 
in its native state, that it may truly be said, that until now a perfect Lead Pencil 
has been unknown. Lead Pencils from Mr. Brockedon's pure Plumbago, are now 
manufactured by Messrs. Mordan and Co., and by Messrs. Winsor and Newton. 

To get over the difficulty of obtaining local colour with the Chalk or Pencil, 
coloured paper is used. On this the high lights are put on, either with white 
in a liquid state, or with white Chalk; and the Paper being left for such 
objects as are not in themselves white, some notion of the local colour is gained. 
As the colour of the Paper is even, the lines of the Chalk or Pencil, are quite as 
distinctly seen as on white Paper, while the contrast is not so harsh. White, 
whether liquid or dry, should never be used but on such objects as are either 
in Nature actually white, or very light ; and the white on them should be more 
solid and bright, according to their degree of brilliancy. 

White is to be had in metal tubes, in a moist state, and may be either diluted 
with water, or used as it is. It always appears somewhat brighter when dry, than 
wet, and for this allowance must be made. The best is called Chinese White. 

The coloured Paper which I think best adapted for the Lead Pencil, is 
a rather warm Grey, as it harmonises best with the colour of the Pencil. It 
should be of a depth of colour sufficient to give brilliancy to the Lights. If it be 
too dark, it overpowers the Pencil, and makes the Lights look crude ; and if it be 
too light, it is scarcely better than white paper. For a long time it was difficult 
to obtain this, or indeed, any other tinted paper, of right depth of colour, from 
the extreme uncertainty in making it, the grey tints being often of a blue, green, 
or red cast. Latterly, however, great improvement has been made in the 
manufacture of tinted papers, in consequence of the increased demand for them. 
Amongst those who have succeeded best, Messrs. Smith and Allnut seem entitled 
to especial mention. Their tinted papers, of different colours and various tones, 
are of a quality which allows of the Chalk being used with greater facility and 



ON THE MATEKIALS 



95 



power —a much more efficient instrument than the Pencil, when employed on 
tinted papers. These papers also receive colour tolerably well. 

I by no means recommend the use of coloured papers to a beginner ; the 
effects produced on them are, indeed, more captivating than on white paper ; but 
they have a tendency to encourage his natural inclination to rely too much on his 
materials, and to render him indifferent to the acquisition of a knowledge of the 
principles of Art. White paper is the best, at first, because it exhibits more 
distinctly the faults of the Student. I, therefore, earnestly recommend him 
to use it at first; and when he afterwards uses coloured paper, he will know 
precisely what means it affords him of producing additional likeness to Nature, 
and will not expect more from it than it will afford. 

All the Skies and Distances should be drawn with long lines ; and if 
afterwards they appear too coarse, either the finger, or a soft leather Stump, 
passed over them, will reduce their harshness. A still better thing, for this 
purpose, is a Hair Pencil, used dry. The Stump, when used with judgment, 
is a most serviceable instrument ; with it Skies may be admirably done, charging 
it with a sufficient quantity of Chalk or Lead, obtained by rubbing soft Chalk 
or a soft Pencil on a coarse piece of paper. The tones it produces are very 
aerial ; a quantity of colour is speedily obtained ; the fleeting forms of Clouds 
are rapidly secured with it; it subdues the distances of Landscapes to 
any required degree, according to the distance or nature of the object, and 
overcomes the superabundant evidence of the markings of the Chalk or Pencil 
in the Shades. To the Figure it may be applied with the best effect. The 
tone of colour produced by the Stump on the Shades and Shadows is often 
very beautiful, as it seems to partake of the very nature of Shade, and succeeds 
admirably in such parts as are smooth, or comparatively so ; for example, the 
Shades on the Trees and Distance in Plate 10; and the Shadows over the 
Ground, or the Shaded parts of the Stems of the Beech Trees, in Plate 16 ; 
or the Shades on the Buildings, and the Shadow over the Water and Cows, 
in Plate 21. Whenever such tones of colour are required, it may be advantage- 
ously employed ; and also whenever the too great evidence of the lines on the 
Shades or Shadows have a tendency to make them appear too attractive, and 
to come forward instead of retiring. It must be understood that I speak of 
the Stump only as another and more ready means of carrying out just principles, 
as with its speed greater truth is gained, a fact which establishes the best reason 
for using it. There can be no advantage in taking the more dilatory and 
weaker means, when the more speedy are the more effective. 

Indian Rubber is of little use, except to obliterate entirely. From the force 
required in the application of it, it spreads the particles of the Lead Pencil, and 
thus smears the Paper : for removing Chalk it is useless. Any small portions of 
bright light amidst a mass of colour, such as the small lights on the Trunks of the 



96 



ON THE MATERIALS. 



Trees in Plate 10, or such as are under the Arch, may be obtained in the follow- 
ing manner :— First, having cut a small hole in a clean piece of paper, lay it 
gently on the Drawing, leaving that portion of it which is to be removed to be 
seen through the hole ; this may now be rubbed out fearlessly, as the surrounding 
paper, if held firmly, protects the surrounding portions of the Drawing. 

Bread is the better material, and may be used in two ways ; first, by rolling 
it between the thumb and finger into pellets, to subtract the too great depth of 
colour from small parts ; this is done by simply pressing a pellet down perpen- 
dicularly on the paper, rather hard, and raising it again in the same way, the 
superabundant particles of the Lead adhering to it : for this purpose, the bread 
must be sufficiently new to retain some of its moisture. In the second way, 
by rubbing it into crumbs, the excess of colour in the first sketch, or any 
large portion of the Drawing, may be very delicately removed, passing these 
crumbs gently over the Drawing, with the inner surface of the four fingers. 

Bread is the only means of removing Black Chalk; and in drawing the 
Figure, the nicety required on most of the shades is principally to be ob- 
tained by it. 

There are many modes recommended of fixing Pencil Drawings. I generally 
fix mine by first pouring scalding water over them from a jug, or other vessel, 
when the drawing is laid flat on a board, and inclined. The loose particles of 
the Pencil are, in this way, instantly removed by the body of water, and carried 
off before they have time to settle, as they do with some other methods, to 
the injury of the Drawing. By this means the size in the paper is softened ; 
and this, when the paper dries, is sufficient to hold both the light tints and 
the darker so firmly, that the Drawing may be passed, without danger, 
through Gum-water or Isinglass, to fix them. The Gum-water, or Isinglass — 
which ought never to be so strong as to display shining particles when dry- 
should be laid in a flat dish, and the Drawing passed through it. Even if the 
Drawing should be on coloured paper, with white lights put on, the white will not 
be in the least degree injured or removed by this operation. 

One word on the Art which alone could enable me to do this work, — 
Lithography. 

Many persons dislike to receive from their Tutor, Lithographic Drawings 
as Examples for practice : they expect always to receive from him his own 
Drawings, not considering that if he have many pupils, his life-time would not 
be sufficient to supply them all. It is not required that, the individual who 
gives lessons in Language should be the author of the Grammar from which 
he teaches, nor that the Musician should be the composer of every piece he 
places before his pupils for their practice. Why then should more be required 
of the Artist who gives instruction in Drawing ? 

Some there are who, admitting the merits of an impression from a Litho- 



ON THE MATERIALS 



97 



graphic Drawing, still prefer, for practice, a copy of it in Chalk or Pencil. This 
is like preferring a fac-simile to an autograph ; for an impression from a Litho- 
graphic Drawing is as completely an autograph— a Drawing made by the original 
designer's own hand— as anything can be that is not so in the strictest sense 
of the word. I have many Lithographic Drawings by English and French 
Artists. In these Drawings we have all the beauty and power peculiar to their 
authors ; but which would be in vain looked for in the best translation or copy. 
Thus, by means of Lithography, the public have the advantage of being able to 
study what would otherwise be either wholly unattainable, or only to be procured 
at so high a price as to be within the reach of very few. Though Lithography 
may have also contributed to the dissemination of much that is worthless ; yet 
that does not affect the merit of the Art. Sir Walter Scott did not reject 
the use of type, because that type which gave to the public his inestimable 
works might have printed " trifles light as air ; " nor do the public feel the 
pleasure of perusing them alloyed, nor their value the less, from any con- 
sideration of the utter worthlessness of what is by the same means placed 
before them. 

Within the last few years great improvements have been made in Litho- 
graphy. In consequence of these improvements, Lithographic Drawings can now 
be executed with greater vigour and precision, as well as with greater clearness 
and delicacy ; while from the capital improvement of printing a tint over them 
with the lights preserved, the expression of space in the distance and of sub- 
stance in the more prominent objects is greatly augmented, — the lights being 
thus rendered more brilliant, the middle tint more delicate, and the shades 
more retiring. 

Having said thus much of Lithography — an Art of whose ready means 
and appliances I have availed myself on many occasions — I shall conclude by 
rendering a willing testimony to the merits of Mr. Hullmandel, who, as a 
Printer, has contributed so much to its improvement, as well as to its exten- 
sion, in this country. 



THE END 



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J. D. HARDING 

On Drawing 

Irecs 
Nature 

■ 

A Classic Victorian Manual 
with Lessons and Examples 





This classic of art instruction is the work of James Duffield Harding 
(1 798-1863), who served as drawing master and sketching companion to 
the great Victorian art critic, John Ruskin. Generations of students have 
benefited from the teachings of this nineteenth-century master, who sought 
always to "produce as near a likeness to Nature, in every respect, as the instru- 
ment, or material employed, will admit of; not so much by bona fide imitation, 
as by reviving in the mind those ideas which are awakened by a contemplation 
of Nature . . , The renewal of those feelings constitutes the true purpose of Art." 

This volume consists of direct reproductions of Harding's sketches of vignettes 
from natural settings. Each is accompanied by a series of lessons emphasizing 
both practical and theoretical considerations. The edition features the added 
attraction of 23 outstanding plates from the author's Lessons on Trees. 

Dover (2005) unabridged republication of the third edition of Elementary Art: or, 
the Use of Chalk and Lead Pencil Advocated and Explained, originally published 
by David Bogue, London, 1846, and a supplement of 23 plates from the same 
author's Lessons on Trees, Day and Son, London, 1855. 160pp. 9K x 12. 
Paperbound. 

ALSO AVAILABLE 

Drawing Outdoors, Henry C, Pitz. 144pp. 8Mx 11. 28679-7 

Pen and Pencil Drawing Techniques, Harry Borgman. 256pp. &% x 1 1. 41801-4 

For current price information write to Dover Publications, or log on to 
www.doverpublications.com — and see every Dover book in print. 

Free Dover Fine Art and Art Instruction Catalog (58283-3) available upon 
request. 



*lb.T5 IN USA 
$E5.50 IN CANADA